Sunday, December 31, 2006

Minds thinking alike

"why can't I get excited about finding a boyfriend?"

This search term led someone to my blog today. I found it to be a very appropriate expression of my own feelings as I've reconsidered dating again.

I don't think of this in any way as a new year's resolution. It's simply better to wait until after the holidays when people's motivations are more about meeting someone versus not being alone. I'm sure many people will be going online as they re-evaluate their personal lives.

Over the past year, I have put some effort into it. Certainly, the most memorable bit of drama was KT and his ambiguous, friendly attitude. It appears he's still online searching for the right girl (or more friends). Throughout my minor attempts to meet people, I made sure never to pressure myself. I think that kind of stress makes me much more uncomfortable and unwilling to put in the effort. Subconsciously, perhaps part of the attitude stems from not wanting to spend time on an endeavor that will fail. (I know, I know, that's not the right attitude.)

With that in mind, I have decided to try this once again. I found a promotion so that a three-month subscription is less than $100 (nothing wrong with trying to save a little money). I will keep this very low key, meaning I have no expectations. I want this experience to not be filled with dread. I promise to do my best to keep an open mind though I know that superficial and rash judgments may occur from time to time.

I'll let you guess which service I'm using but I'll simply refer to it as my consultant.

I've looked through some people and have come across two attributes that I'm uncomfortable with:

1) People who look overweight, I mean heavy not just cubby. Sorry, it's just not appealing to me. I'm a small person and don't like the idea of being crushed. I'm sure they're nice people, but I want someone who's healthy.

2) Guys who select "maybe" or "undecided" in regards to wanting children. Even though it means their open to the idea, I feel like I at least want to start with someone who envisions himself as a father. I don't believe in trying to convince someone to want a family nor do I have years to wait for him to realize he wants that.


Anyway, have a happy new year!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Music that's relaxing to me

I have an old stereo system with a radio, double tape cassette player/recorder, and 5-disc CD changer. Randomly piled in front of and on top of the system are a variety of CDs - Rent, Enya, Sarah Mclachlan, swing classics, Madonna, and Suzanne Vega.

The thing is, the only CD actually in the player that I bother listening to is "The Best of James Taylor." I love cooking, reading, writing on the computer with his music in the background be it "Fire and Rain" or "How Sweet It Is" (which would make for a wonderful wedding song someday). His voice is awesome and the music upbeat but mellow and honest.

I can't help sit here and wonder if anyone I know would ever appreciate this music. I don't know anyone who listens to him. I'm just such a fuddy duddy. :p

A lack of planning

I went to a party in the city last night. My philosophy the past year has been to try and attend parties I've invited too just to put myself out there and work on socializing. The crowd was primarily Asian being that it was a celebration party for K. Originally, it was supposed to be an auction for charity with the winner getting a date with K. I heard from a friend that it got cancelled. Too bad, it would have been fun to see crazy girls bidding for him.

Over the few hours I was there, I mostly danced and chatted with friends. There were a lot of dolled up women there. I couldn't help but think that there are so many levels on which I can't compete with many of them. Ignoring the fact there younger, there still the question of height and genes. Some of them will always look more attractive, with or without makeup. I just don't have the bones. Besides that, I looked at all the men. I felt like I could have recognized many of them from the online dating websites I've browsed over the years. I wanted to convince myself that most of these guys could be nice to meet. Alas, a club is a difficult place to get to know anyone, but it's an interesting place to people watch.

It is no surprise to report that I have not thought much about dating over the holidays. Sure, the idea has run through my mind from time to time, but I did not delve deep and look inside myself. What was I looking for you might ask?

1) Are you ready to give online dating your full attention?
Considering I'm about to plunk down some money, probably. But then there are plenty of people who have gym memberships and never go.

2) Do you know what to look for in profiles?
I don't want to be too picky. I don't want to be judging. I need to start somewhere otherwise I'll go crazy trying to exchange e-mails with all these guys. Help!

I signed back up for a dating website to browse and to warm up to the idea again. Over the past few days, I have looked at the profiles of several guys who are "compatible" with me. While there may be a statement or two that is unique, honestly, the rest of it all seem like trite, packaged descriptors that could fit any man walking down the street - intelligent, adventurous, friendly, dependable, sense of humor, work/life balance, travel, easy-going, etc. I feel like a palette of paint colors has been poured into a bucket and stirred. They all look pleasing when they stand alone, but the whole things turns into a mucky brown soup once they mix together.

They all sound like decent guys, but we know they can't all be. Why would they be single if they're all so great? I honestly have no clue how to filter people. It's such a random process.

Here are two people I'm already ready to chuck...

- In response to a question about the last book he read Engineer wrote, "Most of my reading are technical book dealing with work." One, that's just boring, and two, his grammar sucks.

- Golfer chose some questions for me to answer. One asks what number of children would be ideal to me. That answer seems so transient - ask me after I've had the first one. The second one is, "If I had a bad day, what would you do for me?" At first, it sounded totally normal. Then, part of me thought, "hey, are you expecting me to bring you slippers and have a hot dinner waiting every night?" I know this is all part of the process at this website, but these questions just seem... a bit early to be asking.

So my question is what are clear signs that should set off alarms for me and what are inconsequential remarks that I should not hold against these guys?

Gawd, I suck at this whole dating thing.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Back from a pleasant holiday

Time with the family was nice. It's hard to complain when the weather is a sunny 68F almost every day.

I caught up with a childhood friend, Dogger. We attended 3rd through 12th grade together. She's now a pediatrician. Dogger is also one of the few friends who is still single. It was nice to catch up on our family and friends. I learned that another one of our high school friend's is pregnant. It's taken her many years to decide whether or not to have children. She had never wanted them when we were younger.

Dogger was a bit tired after holding a party at her house the previous night. Her guests had brought their children. The kids left a big mess around the house. She said they had thrown food everywhere. She paused and commented that she wasn't used to that and maybe it's better not to have kids. I know she didn't really mean it. I brushed her observation off as the fault of the parents rather than an unfortunate truth about children. I didn't want to admit that I had been thinking something similar. It would seem as we get older, the idea of catering to children becomes more foreign. I wondered if this was her way of comforting herself about being childless.

At least, that's how my mind's been working lately. If we rationalize the hassle, inconvenience, and selfishness of having children perhaps we can make ourselves believe that it's good that we're childless. I think about all the pollution, crime, materialism, etc. in the world and wonder why I would want to subject a child to this self-destructing world. I console myself by believing that bringing a child into this world is a cruel thing.

The next evening I visited with my oldest friend, Sis. As children, we were the only Asian girls in the neighborhood. Everyone thought we were sisters (because why else would there be two Asian girls in the neighborhood). She and J got engaged after knowing each other for four months. She got married last year and is now expecting her first child.

I'm always curious how the two of them get along since they knew so little of each other to start. They've definitely had their share of fights and disagreements. He's not too keen on how much time she spends with her white, drinking friends. He generally doesn't like large groups of people and prefers to just be with her. It was honest but surprising to hear her reflect upon her marriage as basically having a roommate. They are in the apartment together but usually in separate rooms, one watching tv, the other working at the desk. We agreed that living with someone gets more difficult with age.

It was fun to see her pregnant. She's not particular enamoured with the pregnancy experience but managing. The reality of the impending baby hasn't quite hit them yet. They have yet to agree on a name. She wants to have a biblical name, he does not. The funny thing about that? He's studying to be a Protestant minister.

On the weekend, I caught up with another pregnant girlfriend, Nvy. This will be her second child. It was more of a threesome as her little girl, Ruby, was along for the afternoon. It was fun to hold her hand and help her cross the street. She's an incredibly intelligent two-year-old recognizing a select portion of the alphabet, learning basic colors, and counting from one to twenty. I was impressed by how well Ruby's developed. I can only hope I can do half as a good a job raising such a smart and well-behaved child.

It's amazing how many facets there are to living life. I really cherish the time I spent with my girlfriends. Listening and asking questions gave me a lot to think about. No one's life is perfect but they all have such interesting stories to tell.

My mom was pretty good. There's some tension between her and my dad that I won't go into. Overall, we had a great time as a family. There was no drama because of my brother's wedding, no money complaints, and the job doesn't matter so much these days because she's about to retire. We went shopping at the mall and she bought me a couple nice pieces of clothing. We both loved buying brand name items for 20% of the retail price. It was just a great vacation at home.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Can't convert yet

Darn, I tried to migrate to the new blogger but received a message saying I have a blog that can't be moved. :( Boo hoo, I wanted to be one of the cool kids.

Anyhow, posts will probably be spotty from here on out. I'm off to see the folks, catch up with some pregnant girlfriends, be subjected to parents' friends wondering why I'm still single, and sit around in my pajamas watching movies.

And somewhere in between all this, I'll be trying to figure out if I want to try the online dating thing one last time. The thing is, I have to make sure I'm going to put enough effort into it otherwise, it's just a lame excuse. That also means I'll need to find a friend or two to be my "dating coach" because I'm totally clueless. Do you think there are people available professionally that I can hire to do this?

The weather should be decent - no shorts possible but certainly I don't have to worry about packing any wool sweaters. Can't wait to go home and eat some of Mom's cooking. Maybe she'll make me some egg rolls. :D

Enjoy your time off everyone!

New adoption policy for 2007

I read about this several weeks back. It turned up last night on the news. It's good to hear that China has fewer children up for adoption. I hope that means more people are keeping their children. However, these new policies are probably the end of my potential plan to adopt someday from China (assuming I remain single). Single people are not outright excluded, but given that there are more applicants than children, "preference" to couples is a pretty dire statement.

Maybe I should convince someone who's unhappy with an accidental third or fourth child to let me have him or her. (Kidding, though I'm sad to know they would openly complain.)

The Director *** attended a meeting held by officials from the China Center of Adoption Affairs on Friday, December 8, 2006. The main purpose of the meeting was to summarize CCAA’s work for 2006 and to address changes that will be implemented in 2007.

From 2003 to 2006, the number of dossiers submitted to CCAA continues to increase while the number of children available through international adoption continues to decrease as the focus on domestic adoption continues to grow in accordance with Hague Treaty policies. This will continue to impact the referral timeframe. The current timeframe is 15 to 16 months and may continue to lengthen in the future.

Since the number of children available for international placement has decreased, the CCAA prefers to place children with families who meet the guidelines listed below. Please note we are awaiting the official guidelines in writing from the CCAA. Therefore this information is subject to change. We will continue to update all families as we receive more information.

Based on current understanding of information released at the meeting, the following guidelines will impact families with dossiers registered (logged-in) at the CCAA after May 1, 2007:

* Couples must be married more than two years with no previous divorces. If previously divorced, the couple must be married at least 5 years. Couples with three or more divorces each are not eligible to adopt.

* Preference to married applicants over single applicants.

* The age for both parents should be between 30~50. If adopting a Waiting Child, the age of the parents should be between 30~55 if they adopt WC.

* Good health. No history of depression or anxiety within the last two years. Applicants that are hearing impaired are eligible for waiting children with similar medical issues. (We are requesting additional information on this requirement and will post more information as we receive it.)

* No criminal history. (We are requesting additional information on this requirement and will post more information as we receive it.)

* Body Mass Index (BMI) should be below 40.

* The income per family member (including the adopted child) must be $10,000.00 with a net worth of $80,000.00 or greater.

* Education level of high school or higher.

* The number of children currently living in the home under the age of 18 is less than 5 including the adopted child. This may not be a restriction if the family wants to adopt a Waiting Child.

Please note: The CCAA will send agencies detailed requirements regarding the above guidelines at a later date and families will be immediately informed of these details.

Effective January 1, 2007, the fees to submit a dossier to China will also increase. As of January 1, 2007, the fee for registration/translation will increase from $635.00 to $850.00. This includes the wire fee. These fees will impact families that submit their dossier to China after January 1, 2007. Therefore, all dossiers submitted to *** and mailed to China after December 22nd will pay the updated fees.

As of January 1, 2007 the fee to register/translate the dossier through the Waiting Child Program will increase from $435.00 to $720.00. This includes the wire fee. These fees will impact families that submit their dossier to China after January 1, 2007. Therefore, all dossiers submitted to *** and mailed to China after December 22nd will pay the updated fees.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Men and meat

Tim and I had a holiday dinner together. Basically, I told him I didn't want anything for Xmas, so he treated me to a local restaurant I've been waiting to try. We shared an appetizer as we waited for our entrees - ahi tuna sashimi and prime rib French dip sandwich.

Our entrees were delivered by a different server than the woman who took our order. As he arrive at our table, he started to put the French Dip in front of Tim. Before he could set it down, Tim corrected him and said, "the sandwich is hers."

The waiter looked a little embarrassed as he moved the plate towards me. The prime rib was cut thin and piled high inside the toasted bread roll, showing it's beatiful pink color. Also on the plate was a coffee cup with the au jus and a small side of sauteed spinach topped with some parmesean shavings. As he positioned it in front of me, he remarked, "it looks so tasty."

Then he set the sashimi place in front of Tim and left us saying, "enjoy your meals."

Tim looked at his meal. There were eight eraser-sized chunks of tuna lined up along one edge of the square plate The rest of the space was covered by a two-inch high pile of greens with huge pieces of mango and avocado. It was a very pretty presentation. He looked at me and said, "[the waiter] thought I was getting the big meat meal. Now, I'm insulted. I ordered the girly plate."

We got some good laughs out of it.

We wished each other "Merry Christmas" before digging in. The prime rib was awesome with horseradish and then dipped in juice. Tim actually found himself quite satisfied by the sashimi. I did cut him a section of my sandwich to trade for a piece of tuna. It was a very tasty meal.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

San Mateo man defeats Asian stereotypes to win 'Survivor'

It's interesting that CBS had to recruit people for Survivor. You'd think the show's popularity would be enough to entice thousands of people to apply from which they could form a diverse cast. The other thing I wonder is what channels they used to recruit people?

San Mateo man defeats Asian stereotypes to win 'Survivor'
- Vanessa Hua, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 19, 2006

On his way to winning reality show "Survivor," Y-- K--- solved puzzles, earned the nickname "The Godfather" for his skillful maneuvering -- and helped smash stereotypes about Asian American men in the media.

In the finale that aired Sunday, San Mateo resident K---, 31, won the CBS show's 13th season, which began by pitting African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos and whites against one another. In the end, K--- made deals and alliances with people from different backgrounds for his victory.

Producers of the show recruited him to boost the number of Asian Americans in the selection pool, K--- said. On the weekly series, contestants are divided into tribes that compete in challenges to win rewards and to avoid being voted off the show. This season, the four teams combined into two ethnically mixed ones after two episodes, and eventually merged into one.

When K--- learned about the racial component of the show the night before it was to begin, he said, he almost backed out because he did not want to be a part of anything that cemented stereotypes.

But the producers said they wouldn't manipulate any racial strife. He also decided to stay to round out the men on the Asian American team. Anh-Tuan "Cao Boi," for example, could have played into a "crazy Mr. Miyagi" stereotype, said K---, referring to the enigmatic mentor in the "Karate Kid" movie. And Brad Virata, a fashion director, could have become typecast as a gay Asian, a la Lloyd on the HBO show "Entourage."

"At that point, I felt a sense of obligation to try my best," K--- said. The tribe also had two women, one a lawyer, the other a real estate agent.

"I'm proud of my Asian culture, and obviously we are shaped by our heritage, but it's not all who we are," K--- said by phone on Monday from Los Angeles, on a marathon day of interviews.

"When I was growing up, I did not see people like me as positive role models. I always saw Asian computer geeks who couldn't get a date, or a kung fu guy who couldn't speak English," he said. "I wanted America to see Asian Americans as they truly are."

K--- cut against the mainstream media's caricature of Asian males as geeky, wimpy or else invisible, community observers said. "He's tall, athletic, staggeringly handsome," said Jeff Yang, a consultant on Asian American consumer culture and a frequent contributor to

In some ways, K--- seemed to exhibit some of the flip side of the stereotype of Asian Americans -- as the model minority -- in that he was quiet and worked hard behind the scenes. "You almost wish he'd do or say something inappropriate," Yang said.

But friend MQuoc, 31, of San Francisco said K---'s true personality emerged on the show. "He's one of the most brilliant, considerate and kind people I have ever known."

K--- held his own in swimming, strength, balance and agility challenges, never far behind the competition's clear physical dominator, Ozzy Lusth, a Mexican American who also said he wanted his participation in the show to challenge viewers' stereotypes.

Sunday's finale was the top-rated television show in the Bay Area and nationally, though it had lower ratings than "Survivor's" 12 previous season finales. The show has aired since May 2000 and this year faced new competition in its usual Thursday night slot.

K--- grew up in Concord, the younger of two sons of Korean immigrants. His father, a naval engineer who designs ships, and his mother, a homemaker, live in the same three-bedroom, one-story house they've owned since he was little.

Their family was never extravagant, driving a 1973 Olds Cutlass and 1973 Dodge Colt for years, said older brother Paul K---, 36, now a clinical scientist.

Their father, who wanted his two sons to excel, prepared extra assignments in math, English, history and other subjects on top of school homework, said Paul K---.

Y-- K--- graduated from Northgate High in Walnut Creek, where he was valedictorian and was on the water polo and varsity track teams. Jane Liaw, who attended high school and college with him, recalled how he pulled out a lawn chair and a Pepsi during his graduation speech.

"You watch 'Survivor' and you see he has a lot of integrity, but you don't get how goofy he is," said Liaw, an environmental researcher at UC Berkeley who attended viewing parties each week with K---'s many friends.

At Stanford, he majored in symbolic systems, an interdisciplinary degree program that includes cognitive science, computer science, logic and philosophy.

After graduating from Yale Law School, he clerked for a federal judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, was a legislative aide to Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. and joined the business strategy group at Internet search firm Google.

On his own again before he went on the show, K--- took a break while it aired, traveling, learning Brazilian martial arts and reconnecting with friends.

"He still hasn't found his true calling. As can probably be seen on the show, it takes a lot to keep him occupied and he hasn't found that yet," his brother said.

YLai, 30, a college girlfriend of K---'s, said, "He's a very idealistic individual. He's trying to find the right place for himself to make a difference."

Lai, who works at a venture capital firm in New York, said K--- was both thoughtful and practical -- giving her jumper cables for Christmas one year when she was having trouble with her car or a better chair when he noticed the one in her dorm room was uncomfortable.

"I hope he finds a wife," she added. "He deserves a great woman, and hopefully his increased celebrity will help that."

Through the years, K--- has bleached his hair and pierced his ears, and in college he wore flip-flops everywhere. When the strap broke, he substituted a pair of furry house slippers, which he wore for weeks, biking around campus, Liaw said.

He appeared in a campus Asian American fashion show and became famous for strutting the catwalk in a vest, his chest bare -- a fitting experience for K---, whom People magazine last month called a "sexy man in sexy surroundings."

He also launched a major campaign to raise awareness on campus of the need for minority bone marrow donors when his best friend, Evan Chen, was suffering from leukemia. Chen died from complications related to his bone marrow transplant in 1996.

"He's one of the most loyal friends you'll ever find," said friend ALim, a medical student at Boston University. "He drops everything he's doing at the time if a friend is in trouble. That's the thing I admire about him the most; that's stayed true today."

Lim bonded with K--- at Stanford, where they played all-night marathons of Risk, a strategy game, and swapped tips on a super-low-fat, high-vegetable diet that included egg-white omelets, cheeseless pizzas and blotting oil off of grilled chicken.

It paid off. K---'s abs were on constant display on "Survivor."

For now, K--- has no specific plans, though he said he wants to use this opportunity to work on behalf of his community.

He's still thinking about what he wants to do with his $1 million in winnings but knows he wants to help take care of his parents, who made many sacrifices for him and his brother.

He doesn't want to be an actor but has pondered being a television host. "I love asking questions, and the media has the power to shape people's opinions and awareness of issues."

Bill Bonvillian, his former boss at Lieberman's office, said his two young sons -- who became close to K--- -- know what he should do next.

"They've been joking they're going to volunteer for Y--'s campaign for governor of California," he said. "The 'Survivor' is a logical successor to the 'Terminator.' "

A Unique Experience

My weekend was happily quiet. I sat around in pjs on Saturday. In the morning I ran a couple loads of laundry and watched a few episodes from season 3 of "Gilmore Girls." I managed to finish six Xmas cards after preparing myself a yummy brunch using my leftover ratatouille as the omlette filling and pan roasting the three-colored potatoes I bought at the farmers' market.

I did finally escape the house briefly in the late afternoon to make sure my Xmas cards made the 5pm deadline at the main post office. The air was rather brisk and I found myself a bit underdressed for the weather. Being cozy inside my warm home had fooled me into thinking a sunny sky meant mild temperatures. Still, it was pleasant to walk through the streets, window shop, and watch other people walk by.

I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" in the evening, though I admit to peeking over to "Elf" during commercials. I also made sure to catch up on the Survivor episodes that I had missed. I wanted to make sure I understood every nuance of the show before watching the finale. Watching the challenge with the survivors clinging to the poles and being dragged by the opposing team was incredibly draining. I felt almost as tired as the competitors. Man, that was a brutal contest.

On Sunday morning, I got myself to exercise a little. I started the morning late after staying up late. Again, it was nice to have a quiet, sunny day with no obligations or appointments to think about. After my shower, I did some cleaning in my flannel robe, naked underneath. That's not something I'd normally think of doing this time of year. Somehow, it was fun.

Before I knew it, it was time to drive over to the bar for the Survivor finale. I'd actually misread the clock and found myself short on time. I wanted to get there before the majority of the crowd so that I could secure a seat. I didn't want to stand for three hours nor did I want to end up behind people who'd block my view (because that happens A LOT when you're only five feet tall).

Just as the invitation instructed I arrived at 4:30pm. (Even when I think I'm late to something I always managed to arrive on time - go figure.) Only a handful of true friends were there, drawing signs and finishing set up. In the center of the room were three rows of chairs, each covered with a pom-pom and various forms of champagne poppers. I was impressed they thought of everything that had crossed my mind as well.

The CBS camera crew was making final adjustments on the lighting. Looking at the projection screen, one had no choice but to be blinded by two huge flood lights on either side of the screen. Otherwise there were four blue booths on either side of the room for sitting, but most were covered with papers and supplies. The third choice was the barstools around the bar in the back.

I wasn't sure if the chairs were reserved for K's close friends. I learned from Thursday's viewing that the guy with the camera was the organizer. As he walked near, I asked him if the seats were already designated, and he encouraged me to sit wherever I wanted.

I invited one friend to join me. Also, the guy who originally invited me to the party arrived with his friends. It was nice to be around people I know. The room was bustling with people just before 5pm. There were several varieties of t-shirts being worn by various K groups:

- a sketch of K and his abs with "K's our homeboy"
- "K for U.N. Ambassador"
- a picture from Survivor with shirtless K and a tagline below "Smart = Sexy"
- "K went to Survivor Cook Islands and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"

At this point, everyone was waiting for the live East Coast feed of the show. Before we started the film crew manager gave up some instructions on taping us. At 6:30pm, he told us to cheer as if K had won. He wanted us to be as enthusiastic as possible. "If I'm jumping up and down, I want you to jump up and down. If I fall asleep, I want you to jump up and down." It was kind of disappointing to know that our celebration would not be anywhere near live to national television. So did they do this for Ozzie's friends too so as not to give away who won? I wonder... do you think the film crew knew?

It was fun watching the show with a crowd that felt it had a vested interest in the outcome. The tension during every competition was intense and we all ooooed, ahhhed, and awwed together.

During a commercial break around 6:30pm, the film guy stood up again and told us all the prepare to cheer. Everyone madly shook their pom-poms, launched their poppers and confetti and chanted "K, K, K." Then the cameraman waived us down. He signaled to one group on the floor that they had to move their white poster board to the back because it was causing too much glare. Then we shot the scene again... and a third time.

I doubted I'd appear in the clip that ended up on tv. I was likely obscured by all the people and swirling pom-poms. Plus, the cameraman failed to pan across the room showing just how many of us were there. It was unfortunate that he couldn't not set the camera up farther back. Still, it was fun and interesting to see the "behind the scenes" aspect of preparing for the Survivor final show.

The final immunity challenge was a nail bitter. Every time someone twitched, we all gasped at whether the person would fall. People were heart-broken when K fell to the water.

At the final vote, you could cut the air with a knife. After being held up in a basement bar for over two hours, it was very warm. I could swear the 150 people there stopped breathing for a moment as Jeff opened the final vote. The excitement was unbelievable!!!

After the show ended, they put up a banner and encouraged everyone to come sign it. It would be a gift waiting for K when he comes home. Though it would have been fun to sign, I decided against it for two reasons: one, I don't really know him so I felt it was better to leave it to his friends to sign, and two, it was going to be a wait before having a chance to sign it.

I'm some three degrees removed from knowing K, but it was a one of a kind experience to be part of.

P.S. If you have any interest in this, there's a great interview transcript here from after the show.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Must like throwing rocks

I have no idea what this is... but it's a funny post.

Must like throwing rocks

And don't forget to go to the site the posting references. Is this one man's private method of meeting women?

All Yule, Yuehl, and Yuulleee

With all the headlines talking about his 5-4 win last night in the Survivor Finale, it's been really funny seeing what kinds of searches have brought people here. Because I posted a copy of an article talking about him, I tend to get brief visits. I don't have much time just now, but I just *had* to share some of these amusing referrals from overnight. (And to avoid more hits, I've eliminated his name from this post.)

First, no surprise that it's all about what a hunk he is perceived to be:

"sexiest men y--"
"y-- k---, hot"
"2006 People magazine sexiest men y-- k---"
"y-- k--- wearing glasses" (oh yeah, you know I like that too ;))
"y-- k--- asian-american male"

Then there's the questions about his personal life:
"y-- k--- romantic b---y l--" (in the post show B---y seemed to indicate there's nothing going on)
"y-- k--- mother father"
"y-- k--- consulting" (he's currently not working, don't know if he's simply on a leave of absence)
"y-- k--- height" (I'm guessing 5'9" though I really wasn't paying attention when I met him)

The two that hadn't even occurred to me until I saw them:
"'y-- k---' gay straight"
"y-- k--- single is he gay"

I just found these two amusing. I have a high school friend, friends of friends, and co-workers who are gay, but I have to admit that I don't regularly hang out with anyone gay (not that I know of). The question never even occurred to me. It's interesting to have insight into how other people think.

I haven't seen or heard any mention of a current girlfriend. However, I didn't see any friends at his party that would hint he was on the other side. Given all the friends who were there, my guess is that he's straight. But then, I'm not a friend nor do I claim to have any gaydar.

Friday, December 15, 2006

In the presence of a celebrity

My girlfriend invited me to a "Survivor" viewing last night. This wasn't just any viewing, this was a real fan club viewing with THE survivor (at least, that'd be cool is he is the winner). If you know the about cast, you can probably guess which one. We'll just refer to him here as K.

The bar was showing an NFL game which probably made up most of the patrons towards the front half of the bar. It grew very contentious as 8pm drew near because several of the tvs were changed to CBS and the volume overwhelmed the football game at times. The two crowds were quite different. Having only one bartender serving drink didn't help the situation.

The back area was all about K. Any available see was taken. My connection is that my girlfriend's boyfriend, BeerMan, is a high school friend of K's. And not just an acquaintance mind you, they were reminiscing about prom before we arrived. I did recognize a few other people who came but they're connections to K seemed almost as weak as mine.

K was constantly busy hugging friends and being introduced to others. If you just walked into the bar, you'd never suspect anything. You'd just see this guy holding a glass of water dressed in a black t-shirt and jeans. What you see on tv is what you see in person.

It didn't feel it appropriate to take a picture though I would have loved it. I don't want to seem like another crazed fan. BeerMan took us over to meet K. My girlfriend had met him once before at a party, so K said "yes, I remember you," and they hugged. I got introduced and shook hands with K. It was firm handshake, dry but a little cool from holding his drink. I should have thought of something more to say or a question to ask to keep the conversation going. Before I knew it, another friend drew his attention away to introduce K to her friend.

K was, as his friend put it, "the classic politician." He worked the room throughout the evening, moving between the different sections of the bar to chat with friends. The best part was being able to watch the reactions on his face as part of the episode highlight the survivors' comments. There were a lot of "oooos" when Parvati and the guys were naked in the jacuzzi.

On one of the tables there was a folder full of photos. Inside were dozens of glossy 8x11 photos of K during various times of the show. I'm not sure where they were from, but my guess is that CBS provided them to K as a souvenir of the time on the island. They were very good shots. So if you're K, do you frame them and put them on display? Do you make a mural to remember the experience? Do you organize them into a special photo album that goes on the shelf? The whole idea of being a celebrity seems so surreal at times.

I had dressed up a little nicer for the bar, but I was realistic about getting any chance to talk to K. My thought was maybe with all the girls focused on K, I might meet some nice single men. Well... okay, I should have tried harder to mingle and not stand with my attached girlfriend all night.

What was funny was seeing how dressed up other women were. Maybe some of them are just very fashion conscious. Considering we were in a dive bar in the suburbs, however, I'm sure many were trying to impress K. Several 20-something women wore stylish knit caps and boots. One woman came dressed in a cream, sleeveless dress with f* boots. Come on, you couldn't possibly have worn that to work.

The other thing that was surprising was seeing several infants. I know it's fun to be out, but why bring a small child, who should be sleeping, to a noisy bar?

It was great to watch with such an enthusiastic crowd. It was fun. Why is it so much fun to be "in" on a celebrity event? Part of me hates getting sucked into the whole pop culture thing, but it makes watching the show that much more interesting because it brings the experience closer to home.

And the best part?t I've added to the invite for the finale viewing. This is really awesome because the group will get to watch on a special live feed along with the East Coast. Cameras will be there to show us cheering K on at the end of the show. So if you watch, you may seem me among the hundred some people rooting for K to win the million!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ratatouille - the dish

I decided to forego my workout so that I could cook those fresh veggies I bought at the farmers' market. I had been thinking about this one version by Alice Waters sometime ago as there was a bookmark that led me immediately to the page.

Before I left work, I jotted down the ingredients I needed to pick up from the store. I tried double checking the recipe online. The funny thing was that the first couple listing that appeared in the search had nothing to do with food. The first few searches implied there is a movie coming out next year called "Ratatouille." It looks like Pixar's next movie is about a rat who is a foodie... not quite the French vegetable saute I was looking for. I'm not excited about the movie title, but the animation looks nice.

So after baking, sauting, and simmering, I produced this lovely looking dish. It was also a good way to break in my new 3.5 quart buffet casserole.

The thing is, this took me more than an hour - start to finish. How are two working parents supposed to feed their family a healthy dinner with everything there is to do? It makes me appreciate the fact that my mom was able to get home at a decent time and cook fresh food (almost) every night. And then there's the cleanup part!

I toasted some sweet baguette slices and cut myself a piece of soft cheese. I topped off the vegetables with chopped parsley, chopped olives, and minced garlic as the recipe instructed. Topping the bread slices with the ratatouille tasted great. The only thing I'd change is sprinkling the raw garlic - yikes that was strong! I barely managed to eat a quarter of it. Yummy leftovers tonight!

I must do more cooking like this, and with more people around next time. This is one of those simple things that are so enjoyable.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A log of search terms...

Wow, didn't think it would happen today. I logged in to see that my blog had it's 5000th visit today thanks to someone who's service resides in Connecticut.

While the blog is almost two years old, I didn't really start writing regularly until earlier this year.

To mark the visit to my blog (mostly thanks to a small group of regulars), I thought it would be fun to show some of the search terms that have brought random visitors here whether it be for less than a second or for several minutes. I wished I had saved some of the ones from earlier in the year - there were a couple strange ones.

General dating questions:
"meaning of mixed signals in romance"
"'' 'my place: no answer'"
"what is the normal time to date before becoming boyfriend and girlfriend??"
"eharmony criticism"
"formal way of saying 'paying for dinner'"
"cynical about relationship"
"'have an asian fetish' yuck"
"relationship with liar and mommys boy"
"dating 'he never asks me any questions '"
"women seeking Asian men in nyc"
"'dear abby' 'meeting people' volunteering"
"prefer dating younger women"
"interracial asian"
"wingman responsibilities"
"charisma arts"

Marriage stuff:
"spring chinese good weddings"
"the secret widows"

General social questions:
"sift through people"
"social butterfly wedding consultant started 2006"
"underestimating yourself"

Cultural topics:
"taiwanese are lazy"
"what does winter holidays mean"
"yul people magazine's sexiest men"
"clothing short pants asian woman 0 'extra small'"
"spitty baby"
"rh negative supernatural"
"poking yourself with a needle during a polygraph test"
"sex trans"

Random mystery topics:
"juggler method vs mystery method"
"chemistry comes alive hmtd pictures"

And the one where more context would be helpful (and how did this match my blog?):
"'cousin' 'naked with each other'"

Monday, December 11, 2006

Packed weekend

My weekend felt like it lasted 72+ hours.

I attended my company holiday party on Friday night. On the way to the hotel, I passed a performance being given by school-age children. It was so cute to see them dressed as ginger bread people!

This year I went stag. My plan was to say "hello" to everyone, eat, and be gone. Going alone is fun when your co-workers are similar in age and life stage. In my case, sitting around with couple that have kids and/or are pregnant is challenging. Naturally they all want to compare notes and share stories about child rearing. What am I supposed to do?

All in all it was nice to meet my co-workers' spouses. It's important to put on a happy face and be seen. I high-tailed it out of there once the dancing started and I'd had my fill of dessert.

Saturday morning was a volunteer event. I love being able to help give underprivileged children gifts. Some of us talked about the unrealistic expectations some kids have these days. One person recalled seeing a child ask for an iPod, another wanted an XBox in other locations. When a family is not in good financial health, how can these kids think to ask for something so expensive from strangers? How does a kid learn to be humble versus demanding?

We started talking about all these examples of people who have their priorities in the wrong place. I remember a news segment fifteen years ago where they interviewed people standing in a food line in the Bronx. The reported asked each person if they owned a microwave, had a telephone, had cable tv. Many said "yes." In another example, someone shared how she was unable to reach a single mother for a charity donation meeting. The woman could not pay her phone bill, and service had been cut. Yet, she had premium cable and a family season tickets to an amusement park. One guy volunteered with a group that did repairs for low-income families. They were sent to repair a hole in the roof over the children's bedroom. He was surprised to walk through their living to see a huge projection tv and stereo system. Maybe some of these people had a good explanation, but it just doesn't look good.

In the afternoon, I was supposed to watch my friend's annual holiday performance, but I skipped it in light of the weather and traffic. Instead, I went home and took a nap before heading out for another holiday gathering.

My friend's business school friend was having a big party at a local club. Although I knew no one but her, I thought it would be good to get to know new people. Parking took forever. It's one of those neighborhood's where you know there's NEVER any parking. After 30 minutes of driving in circles, I paid $8 at a garage.

I tried my best to meet people, but it's hard when you know many are not sober and have been smoking something. Still, they were a fun group. Dancing was great because the DJ picked the best 80s songs. It was cool to seem him get into the music as much as the crowd.

On Sunday morning I slept in as long as I could. I found someone on Ebay who had been unable to sell some cookware that I had been eyeing. I asked her to consider selling it to me for less after no one matched the price she wanted.

We agreed to meet at a cafe downtown. I arrived early in hopes of writing some Xmas cards, but the cafe was packed. I decided to walk over to the Farmers' market for a bit. This is the last week for persimmons, so I wanted to buy a bagful. I marveled at all the beautiful vegetables - leeks, celery root, squash, trumpet mushrooms, radishes, etc. I wanted to buy some but realized that I have no idea how to cook some of them. Maybe it'd be fun to buy something and then look up on the Internet for ways to prepare it. This way I'd learn something new and hopefully have a tasty meal to show for it. Next time... for now, I settled on some beautiful bell peppers and Japanese eggplant that I'll saute in my new pan. :)

I had just enough time to drop off the groceries at home before running to my next event. A friend of my cousin's arranged for free makeovers by a woman launching her own line of cosmetics geared towards Asian faces - Thi Cosmetics. I'm not big into makeup, but it's always fun to see what they suggest and learn new techniques. It turned out to be rather fun, except for getting my brows plucked. The makeup felt light and highlighted my features well while looking natural. I did buy a couple items like the Soy cream and Quinn lipstick. I've been needing a new red lipcolor.

The next activity of the day would have been Jew's annual White Elephant party. I was sad that she chose a Sunday evening for it. With all my running around, I really wanted a quieter night and wasn't in the mood for driving almost 70 miles each way to be there. She was very understanding about it.

I've been meaning to bake cookies to take to work. I love making desser recipes. It's been challenging to find the time. I thought I'd start out by at least making the dough since it refrigerates well and finishing the baking another night after work. I guess I was on a roll, because I spent the entire evening baking. There was some 1.5 pounds of butter, 2.5 cups of sugar, and 5 cups of flour involved.

I ran over to the television between steps to watch "The Amazing Race." The finale was rather disappointing. The last part seemed way too simple. I wonder if they edited out some of the final challenges. The "Survivor" finale next Sunday will hopefully be much more interesting.

All in all I spent 5+ hours measuring, mixing, and baking. Towards the end I developed a pretty good system of preparing one sheet of tea cakes while the ginger cookies baked and vice versa. The only tricky part was alternating the oven temperature between 300F and 325F. The pizzelles probably are the most time consuming since only two came be made at a time and it requires constant attention. I ended up making four dozen chewy ginger cookies, two dozen chocolate pizzelles, and three dozen tea cakes. Yum!

Whatever cookies don't get eaten at work will go with me to my next volunteer event tonight. I'll be wrapping more gifts for kids. Whee!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Car stereotyping

I did some volunteering this weekend. At the after lunch, I chatted with this guy, Sour. He looked kind of familiar though I'd never met him. I figured out that I'd seen his picture on an online dating site earlier in the year.

I remember his picture because it was rather pathetic. Usually, you'd think people put up a good picture of themselves for dating. This guy's picture looks like he held out a camera in front of himself. He's not smiling and looks like he has bags under his eyes. The comparison that comes to mind is the look of a bloodhound. Needless to say, it's an unattractive first impression.

Sour looks a little more normal in person. I reminded myself that people can be different than what you see in words. I try to keep an open mind when meeting guys in these random settings. He seemed like a normal person when we interacted while grabbing food and drinks. Based on the questions he asked me, I couldn't help wonder if he was interested in me.

Later, as I was talking with a friend, he came up and asked, "are you the one who has the station wagon?"

How did he know that??? This question comes up from strangers once or twice a year. If I drove *anything* else, I bet I'd never hear a thing about my choice. I was suspicious, but calmly replied, "yes."

For some reason, he seem bewildered. After a pause, he followed with, "do you have kids?"

I non-chalantly answered, "no."

Still apparently in a state of confusion, he then inquired, "is there some fond family reason?"

Is it fair at this point that I felt a bit annoyed? I started by just responding with a "no," but then added that it's a great car for camping, skiing, and other hobbies.

Another guy who was listening to the conversation then joined in and asked, "you drive a wagon up to the snow?"

Almost in unison, they asked me if I have four-wheel drive.

"No, but I can fit everyone and their gear easily. It's great having the space. I've fit five people in my car plus our backpacks."

Still, they didn't seem satisfied. I gave up. Maybe Sour was interested in getting to know me until he heard about the wagon. Yeah, whatever. I think I scared a guy off last year when he walked me to my car and realized it was a wagon. Lame. I laugh that a guy is scared by my car. Sure, it'd be nice if I could use the car to transport my kids around town... someday. Right now, it's because I love being able to fit anything and everything in it.

There were moments I considered defending my car by adding that many SUVs are basically raised wagons but held myself back. Their incredulous attitude towards everything I said was frustrating. Had I been driving a Toyota Highlander, would anyone question me? I'm short, I don't want to have to climb up into my car. I don't always like what other people drive, say a Hummer, but it's not my place to say anything unless they directly ask me.

I'm not sure what to think of this. Everyone makes assumptions based on the information available to them. That's understandable. I just didn't like the way he presented it. It's a good reminder that I should also choose my words carefully.

I mentioned the incident to Wand afterwards. She was at the event with me and was present when Sour later eased dropped on our conversation about work. After I left, he asked her if we were friends. She was pretty sure that he was interested in me. Her impression of him was not very good either. They were in the same task group. When unloading supplies from her car, he passed by. The rest of the group, who happened to all be women, went over to offer a hand carrying the stuff. Sour continued to walk towards the meeting room. Wand implied that he clearly heard the gals ask if she needed help, but he didn't seem to pay attention. She was disappointed he didn't join in to help. Could it be he needs a little training from female friends?

As I drove home from the volunteer event, I thought about whether I should put something into my next online dating profile. Where they leave you a space asking "Is there anything you want to let people know," maybe I could write something in like "I like a man who thinks wagons are cool." ;)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Balancing thoughts and actions

At the end of "Gilmore Girls" Emily gave Lorelai some marriage advice. She cautioned that it's not all fun and that, in fact, sometimes it's not easy at all. Lorelai tried to use a snarky reply to lessen the serious tone. Noting Lorelai's need to always have her way, Emily said that sometimes it will be important to let Christopher have his way if the relationship is to survive.

Ironically, I had the newest issue of "Real Simple" in my lap when I was watching and was reading an article titled, "When being right is wrong." The article used one woman as an example of how the need to be right can distract a person's from finding happiness.

It makes me think about my own communication style. I wonder how many people have been turned off my unwitting attitude, especially people I have dated. Being single for so long, it's tough to remember the importance of listening and compromise.

There are moments when I catch myself, after the fact, being too strongly opinionated. I worry that I've been independent for so long, lived alone for so long that it's become hard for me to see other people's points of view. Day to day (outside of work), there's little need to compromise; there's no waiting for other people's input to take action. I have grown accustomed to making a decision without a word and moving forward. It seems decisions can take longer as a couple because one has to wait for the other. When I am in a situation where I am working with others, it's hard to realize that I need to shift gears.

I had lightly touched upon the subject when my brother and sister-in-law were over the other night. We were sharing stories about kitchen habits. I told Ricer how it's easy to develop unique cleaning habits as a single person. She understood when I described to her how I hate watching people wash my good knives because I'm afraid they'll unknowingly use the abrasive side of the sponge and scratch the blade.

As the conversation progressed, Ricer mentioned how she thinks I'm brave to live alone. She's never lived alone in her life. She said she'd be too scared to stay in a place by herself and won't know what to do. Part of me couldn't imagine what life would be like being so dependent and was thankful that I am self-sufficient. While I appreciated her praise, I also assured her that it has it's downsides. I confessed my own worries about how it becomes difficult to know how to cooperate with others. It's not in my nature to ask for help because I normally have to do things myself. Being independent backfires sometimes because the skills it forces me to learn can increase my isolation.

I showed Tim the article I read and asked if it sounded like me. He said, "no." It was reassuring to hear that though I must admit I can't help think his opinion is a little skewed. ;) I'll have to give this some more thought to determine whether I'm simply obsessing or whether this is something that watch out for.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dear Abby posting on parenthood

This was part of a recent Dear Abby. Scary to think teenagers are becoming single parents.

It's a good reference for future reflection. Her choice of wording is better than my list though they cover many of the same things.


DEAR ABBY: I have two children, 15 and 17. Many of their friends are becoming single parents. Not wanting that for my children, I talk to them and urge them not to have babies until they're ready to be good parents.

story continues below

You are so good at coming up with lists for things, Abby. Could you compile a list of criteria for what makes a really good parent? It would be nice to show them what that adds up to. -- NANCY IN FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ.

DEAR NANCY: I'm pleased to help. However, I'm sure my readers will want to add to the list, which is a short one.


(1) Can you support the child financially? Children are expensive. I always urge people to complete their education and delay parenthood until they are self-supporting, in case they should find themselves in the role of sole provider.

(2) Can you support the child emotionally? Babies are cute, but they are also completely helpless and emotionally needy. While some young women say they want a baby so they'll have someone to love them, the reality is it's the parent's responsibility to love and sacrifice for the child. In plain English, this means the end of a normal teenage social life because babies are extremely time-consuming.

(3) Are you prepared to be a consistent parent? Children learn by example -- both good and bad. Are you prepared to be a role model for the behaviors you want your child to mimic? Because mimic they do. They learn more from what they observe than what they're told.

(4) Have you read up on child development? Are your expectations of what a child should be able to accomplish as he or she reaches various chronological milestones realistic? Ditto for your partner, whether or not he or she is the child's biological parent.

(5) Are you prepared to put someone else's needs before your own for the next 18 to 21 years? Remember, babies can't be returned to the manufacturer for a refund if you're not 100 percent satisfied. Sometimes they come with serious challenges. Can you cope with those realities?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, I strongly advise postponing parenthood.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Even them

As I have noted before, it seems the 2007 baby challenge is growing. I received a holiday card from a college friend of mine. Let's call him Professor. I met him during a summer serving as campus counselors. He is two years older than me.

We made for good friends and naturally others in the group thought we were a pair. Eventually, he revealed to me that he was interested in dating me. At the time, however, I was interested in someone else. Honestly, although he was a good guy, I can't say that I would have wanted to date him. (On the other hand, my mother was very keen on this guy being that he was Chinese and incredibly intelligent.) One of the other reasons I didn't see him as boyfriend material was because he had mentioned that he did not want to have children.

After college we kept in touch. He dated a woman, HK, for some four years. At one point, he proposed, but she turned him down. He kept the ring in a safety deposit box. The following year, they got married. That was 2001.

I saw them once or twice. I don't remember much about her. While I never directly asked him about their plans, I never got the impression he had changed his mind about having a family. They seemed quite content living their lives, sleeping in on weekends, and traveling occasionally. He promised to invite me over to their place for dinner sometime but never did.

Yesterday I received their annual card. He's always incredibly prompt with his cards. I get it the week after Thanksgiving every year. So it was strange it came a week later this time. Inside was a typed letter rather than the couple of handwritten sentences of past cards. The stationary was cute and included thumbnail photos next to the text.

In one picture, there's a picture of them, HK with a chubby tummy area. I knew immediately that they must be expecting. It explains the stomach and the delayed of the usually early card.

Being my pessimistic and cynical self, I can't help wonder why the change. What in their lives caused this sudden change? Is it because next year is a lucky year to have children? After five years of marriage did they realize they need something fulfilling? Was HK feeling the guilt of approaching 40 and felt this was her last chance? Family pressure?Was it an accident they decided to keep?

I genuinely hope they are excited about this baby. I know they will be good parents. I'll have to meet up with him for lunch or dinner soon and get the whole scoop.

In my current situation, I'm naturally jealous. I seem to harbor a resentment towards anyone who contradicts what I understand or expect of them, especially when it means achieving something I haven't. I hate that in this world there are people who have what I want but don't necessarily want it like I do or have tried so hard to get it. Life's unfair, I know, I just keep wondering if it'll EVER be my turn.

When Tim came over the other night, he saw the packages I'm preparing to send out for the holidays. I also have a jewelry craft toy I plan to donate. He hugged me and told me how sweet and thoughtful I am to send gifts to my cousin's family, my pregnant friend, and my brother and sister-in-law. All I could do was sniffle and reply, "that's because I have no one of my own."

Monday, December 04, 2006

Comedy of near misses

Update on the tickets...

Ig finally gave me a call but hadn't checked his e-mail until after lunch. (He probably didn't wake up until lunch.) I had to summarize all the events of the morning to him. He sensed how flustered I was about the whole situation, apologized for not being more on top of things, and then called Green to make sure everything was still on track.

Green indicated everything was fine. He said the FedEx form promised a 10:30am delivery. When Ig doubled checked, he learned that it's before 10:30 on *weekdays* and before NOON on Saturdays. Uh, okay that's not helpful. Green had misunderstood the guarantee.

The two of them talked again and put together a solution. Green agreed that once the package was picked up by FedEx (it was sitting in a drop box somewhere in L.A.), Green would call and request that the package be held at the local FedEx station. That way, we could pick it up earlier and make it in time for the noon start of the event. Everyone was prepared to get up and potentially leave my place no later 10am.

The next morning, I slept in and woke up at 8:30am. Out of curiosity, I turned on my computer and tracked the package. It showed that it had arrived at 7:44am at the airport (some 35 miles away) and was in-transit to the FedEx office. ARGH.

Ig spoke with the location office manager who verified that the package would be held and not delivered once it arrived. She estimated it would arrive before 10am. When we hung up on each other around 9:30am, Ig said he'd get ready and meet me at my place. I called Tim and he said he'd be out the door in a few minutes. I figured the guys would arrive by 9:45am and we could be at FedEx by 10am.

Tim showed up on time, but we waited some time for Ig. I got rather frustrated. Five minutes after 10am, I commented that "I know he tends to be late to thing, but you'd think this one time he'd understand trying to be prompt."

Ig showed up a few minutes later. I immediately started up the car and pulled out of the lot. As I finished backing out, I noticed in my rear view mirror a FedEx truck pulling into the neighborhood.

Feeling rather paranoid at this point, I hesitated and suggested that we double check that the driver didn't have our tickets. I mean, what are the chances that the FedEx guy was here to deliver to someone else on a Saturday.

With engine running, I thought about how long it would take us to get there while Tim watched Ig talk to the driver. I wasn't even watching because I didn't think anything would happen. Then Tim started laughing as Ig ran towards the car. He had an envelope in his hands!! We all just shook our heads in disbelief that FedEx had messed up and attempted to deliver the package. If Ig hadn't been late, we would have had to drive back to my place for the tickets. All we could do at this point was laugh.

After a stop for gas, we drove to a BART station. Knowing how late we were, it seemed like a smarter idea to ride the BART rather than try and park the car near the event. We bought our tickets and stood on the platform. The schedule said we had about five minutes before the next train. Perfect timing.

Ig was curious to see what time we would arrive and started to go back downstairs to locate a schedule. As he walked away, I was worried he'd miss the train and wanted my ticket in hand. Tim walked over to the stairs and yelled down to Ig to give us our tickets.

Tim's been particularly joking with me lately. He always tries to trick me by saying I didn't give him something or that he doesn't know what I'm talking about. It's gotten to the point where I'm not sure whether to believe him. It's kind of annoying sometimes. I looked up to see Tim walking towards me with his arm out stretch asking, "give me the car keys. Ig forgot the tickets."

I didn't believe him. My response was, "yeah, right."

"No, really, he doesn't have them."

"Oh crap! You're kidding?"

I fumbled through my bag for the keys. Tim went over to the stairs and threw them down to Ig. I yelled, "hurry," noticing that the sign was now blinking to alert us the train was incoming. After all we'd been through, I couldn't believe that he forgot the tickets. At least this didn't happen after we'd already arrived at the stadium.

I looked at Tim and indicated that Ig was not going to return in time. When the train opened it's doors, I wondered whether we should get on board. Tim was no help. He shrugged his shoulders. We debated whether one person should go ahead and buy some lunch food. I stepped into the car and asked one last time if I should go without them.

They met up with me just before noon. I had managed to buy some hot dogs and burritos before they arrived. In that sense, I guess it worked out. Still, I was pissed we were late. I also felt bad that we had this guy waiting for us at the stadium to get his $30 ticket. Considering how late we were, he would have been better off paying one of the scalpers on the street $10 or less for a ticket (which is what ticket were worth by that time).

So if you do the math, it came out to $26.66 for each of us, plus the gas and transportation. If we had not taken the tickets, Green would have gotten $90 for selling three tickets but spent $40 on FedEx. With our involvement, he got $90 for selling four tickets AND we paid him back for the $20 he spent on FedEx. That puts him $60 ahead of where he would have been (okay, he still took a loss on the tickets overall).

Sure, we had a good time, but I still think Green got a really good deal out of this. This is the last time I take a friend of a friend up on a "free" ticket offer.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Why I should just let things lie

My therapist's recommendation this week was to appreciate myself for all the good things I can do and stop punishing for myself for things I am not. No one's perfect, I recognize that. It's a hard habit to break to not nitpick and think less of myself for not doing better.

Such an example has just happened this morning that makes me want to bang my head against a wall.

Last night I talked with Ig about taking up on offer of some free tickets that a friend's friend, Green, cannot use. The tickets are for an event on Saturday. Green would have to FedEx them as he is a few hundred miles away (hence why he can't use the tickets).

Ig sent an e-mail last night to our friend expressing interest in the tickets. He didn't e-mail Green directly even though he had his e-mail address. Knowing that time was of the essence, I forwarded Ig's e-mail to Green and left my phone number.

Green called me and said he would send us the tickets. I added that we felt the least we could do was pay for the FedEx costs and perhaps pay a small token for the tickets. Apparently that opened up a can of worms. Green said he had planned to give them to another person at 2 tickets for $30. He then said, how about $60. The math seemed a bit funny to me, but I said "yes" wanting to be fair. He said he would e-mail me with the cost of the FedEx and how to Paypal him.

Five minutes later, Green called again, asking if we could do him a favor. I paused and said, "I'll try." He explained that another ticket was to be sold to a guy who lives near the event. He realized that sending it by FedEx would cost more than what the guy was paying him for the ticket. He asked if we could meet up with the guy to deliver the ticket and collect the money. I only said I'd try and he said that's fine if we were unable to connect with the buyer.

Once I got off the phone and back from a meeting, I started putting all this together. The initial momentum behind this whole thing was because the tickets were "FREE." Now, we're shelling out $80 and we have to act as his delivery person. I feel like I've been taken advantage of and am unhappy. I should have left this alone and let the deal fall apart when Ig sent the e-mail wrong. The tickets would have been given to someone else by now and I wouldn't be in this awkward position.

Ig is unreachable so I could not consult him for what to do next. Green just sent an e-mail with the tracking number, a list of what amount to send to his Paypal account, and the contact information of the one ticket buyer. I checked the estimated arrival time for the envelope. There is a possibility the tickets will not show up until just before the event starts. Given travel time, that means we could be late and miss half the event. Now it really seems lame to be paying all this money for the tickets.

I did my best to layout the situation and explain that I'm feeling like the amount is more than "what was originally intended." I asked if we could discuss making an adjustment.

I don't know what else to do. I HATE these situations. I struggle constantly between being fair, being polite, and getting what I want. Sometime I think I let people run all over me and it sucks. This is why I want to just forget the whole thing and stay away from these situations. I wish I had never written any e-mails this morning and just let Ig error play out. ARGH.

Addition: And now I feel bad that I sent him a response because in talking with Ig just now, I realize that when he said "2 at $30" he must have meant $30 EACH, not $30 total. Ugh, can I just end this day now? This is why I think people like Ryan don't stay with me - a build up of misinterpretations make me look like a really bitchy and selfish person. :(