Monthly Archives: July 2008

moral conundrum

Every time i stick my toe into anthropologie I go into a downward spiral of consumeristic desire that keeps me drooling for days.

But I’ve never bought anything there for myself.  And I have absolutely no sense of style (not even being modest when I say that.)  And clothes?  They’re just clothes, I could care less.

But the decor, the housewares, the frilly little aprons back in the corner, the bulky jewelry that’s borderline tacky, the patterns and textures….  so pretty.

i could easily convince myself i need this:

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today, and for today only

Do you ever have one of those days where you get in the car, crank up your favorite song, realize you’re wearing the perfect outfit for the day and think “today, I am the coolest person ever.”

I drove to the Creek today to meet a friend for lunch.  I hadn’t even realized it has been more than a month since I saw Ms. C because we’ve each been so busy.  And boy’s been at Comic Con so he can get out his what I like to call “being totally boy geek gay” weekend.  It’s nice to be alone for a while.  Dance around the apartment, narrate every detail of what I am doing to Jack (“Now I’m going to eat some edamame!  Who doesn’t love edamame?  I do!  Do you?”).  And today, in the car, flying down hwy 24, for 20 minutes I was the coolest person in the world.

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slip of the tongue

no, not that slip. dirties.

It happened at BlogHer. Talking to a colleague. Wigged me out. Still wigs me out a little.

We were talking about our significant others when I said it.

Why should my husb….

[jaw drop]

yeah, I said it. So what, right? Right. No biggie.

I assume this is something that comes with turning 27. The “H” word starting to work its way into my vocabulary. Just like how I bought shoes the other day for the sole purpose of ARCH SUPPORT. Soon to come: stories about sagging boobs, hormone levels plummeting faster than the stock market, and my birthday brought to you by smuckers and Willard Scott. So much for having “turning 30” issues.

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BlogHer ’08 Wrap Up

Of course I come out of BlogHer ’08 and find myself in a whirlwind of projects that slipped by and 3 colleagues on maternity leave causing a staggering amount of deadlines to keep track of.  But I wanted to wrap up some thoughts on this before the topic is totally irrelevant.

It was fun.  Overwhelming as anticipated, but fun.  And most of this is from a non-work perspective.  I felt by the time the conference rolled around, my work with the Dummies branding campaign and BlogHer Heroes contest was over so I enjoyed it from a personal perspective.  First day I was blown away by the number of sponsors picked up since last year.  And moving into the sessions (after those horrible ice breakers in the opening key note – hate those) I found it slow to start.  Everything seemed a little squishy at first – we’re so glad you’re here, thank you for coming, let’s share, I want to make sure this is about you.  And the sessions I went to were a little dry of content and people.  That’s when I realized the conference may be getting over sponsored, because everyone was getting their massage or makeover or having a cupcake with champagne at a sponsor suite instead of attending the sessions.  I read later on Jory’s blog (BlogHer co-founder) that some of those suites weren’t sponsors and well, some sponsors were just being rude.  But I’m glad she took notice. 

I went to the introversion session which I found hilarious because it was so QUIET.  And you know what I realized?  I don’t think I’m as introverted as I thought I was.  🙂 

The 20-something bloggers was fun, run by Zandria who I must have met last year because she was so familiar to me.  I saw some bloggers that I read, but really didn’t want to introduce myself.  Why?  Because I felt like some cyber-stalker because I read without making myself known.  I did get the guts to introduce myself to Jen of Semi-Charmed Wife because I do admire what she does on her blog. 

Day two rolled around with more interesting sessions I had to choose between and I wish all of those sessions were broken up between the 2 days.  The close of the event had me chugging a cosmopolitan and heading over to the Macy’s after party with a nice buzz and realizing after making a fool of myself that when buzzed I should speak to ONLY colleagues and people who know me.  I really wanted to go talk to my fellow 20-something bloggers, but honestly, I was so tuckered out and not trusting what rude non-sense would slip out of my mouth I just hugged the side of my fellow Wiley folks.  Safe zone. 

My favorite personal revelations – I’m not as scared as I once was to stand up in front of an audience.  I asked a few questions in the very full panels and had a lot more confidence than previous shows.  Mostly because I care less what people think about me.  Which is to say, I’m not as frozen by being self-conscious, still inhibited by it, but not frozen.  My director let me tease her the ENTIRE time that she works for me.  I didn’t really declare this to anyone seriously, but something in the fact that she let me do that made me feel really good about where I work.  Silly?  sort of.  But it is just nice to know that my job allows me to step back from the role of marketer to be myself, because I’m better at being myself.  The Blonde, a fellow colleague and one of my managers has more guts and composure than I ever hope to have.  She dragged me over to meet Heather Armstrong of Dooce knowing that I get super embarrassed when being all fan-girl about something.  And I’m glad she brought me over.  Heather is really nice and I was surprised so many people take liberty to be rude to her face – seriously, it’s weird.  And I now believe that I really do only know about 5% her life, if not less, because while I knew she was tall I had no idea she was that tall.  Easily the tallest woman I have ever met.  And I have a picture of the 2 of us, but I kind of looked freaked out.  Because I was.  Overall, I’m glad I went.  And still the highlight remains talking to Grover.


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Best part of BlogHer ’08

Meeting Grover.
Sesame Street had a suite where you could meet Grover and Abby Cadabby.  And I met them both.  And made a special video for Molly and Mason.
Now, this was my first time on video actually talking to the camera.  And I was super nervous.  I know – to talk to Grover.  But it’s true.  And do you know how hard it is to talk to Grover and not the guy with his hand up Grover’s ass?  At one point, when he repeated the question “and how old are Molly and Mason?” I looked down at the guy like dude, you just asked that and I responded with you just asked and I spent a good HOUR after the video thinking omigod I am such a bitch, I just snipped at Grover…
Lastly, I almost didn’t post this.  Why?  Because I am a retard.  Yeah, I gained some weight and I’m SUPER self-conscious about it.  Which is why I have been tending to post more pics of boy on flickr than me.
Anyway, that smile on my face, that huge grin, I couldn’t even take it down a notch.  Because standing on sesame street, talking to Grover, this was definitely a childhood dream come true for me. 
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Grover and Al on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod




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a bad moment for food

My dream last night involved me needing a double mastectomy and my ovaries removed.  So I went about it by removing one ovary with one breast at a time.  I made it through the first operation and looked down at my stitched up chest with no nipple and started mourning my breast more than the missing ovary.  I know, totally weird.

So what does this have to do with anything?  I don’t know.  But here’s what I think it may be somehow related to, in a convoluted way that just shows how messed up I am.

I have been completely off routine the past 2 weeks.  Between birthdays, holidays, and a broken fridge I have been at boy’s for 2 weeks straight, not running a whole lot, not eating great, not doing a lot of homework (not good).  My diet is the worst.  I have been eating a lot of sugar and over-eating at meals and feeling really crummy afterward.  And then tonight, I had escargot.  yup, that’s right.  Boy and I have discussed my past love of weird foods – (I’m talking frog legs, pastrami, canned vienna sausages – yeah, I used to LOVE that stuff) – I thought I was over those days.  But apparently not.  I like escargot, really, I do.  But what upsets me most is that I had no qualms about eating it.  Nothing.  Not a stir.  And I’m having issues this evening about losing my convictions.  I used to feel passionately about eating well and responsibly.  Where’d that go?

So what does this have to do with losing a breast and ovary in my dream? (why yes I did wake up and grab my boobs first thing in the morning and was quite relieved.)  I have been eating crappy, I feel crappy about myself, wether it’s true or not I feel like I am putting on weight, so I feel like I look like ass, and in my contorted reality, feeling feminine involves being lean.  So if I feel like I look like ass, I feel like I am losing my femininity, hence losing my boobs and ovaries.

Hopefully next week will be quiet.  And boy is leaving to geek it out at comic con.  Just me and Jack and a whole lot of studying to catch up on.  I look forward to becoming a creature of routine once again.  And rejuvenating my energy level by being alone.  BlogHer hasn’t even started and I’m already drained by the amount socialization required for my job.

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tough call

The dog park is a weird place, socially.  There are definitely social circles, those people who go there every day, twice a day, bring a dog brush and run it through the coat of any dog that passes by.  Weird.  I have my does and don’ts.  Like don’t bring your lunch to the dog park, spill your fries, and let the dogs clean it up.  Not cool.  Don’t feed my dog a red vine because that’s what you give your dog as treats.  Don’t use that brush on my dog.  And my #1 peeve – don’t bring kids to the dog park!  The dog park is for dogs, not for kids to run around.  With kids around, I have to block Jack off from whatever half of the yard the kids are running around on.

Today at the dog park a dog fight broke out.  It happens, often with the big dogs.  After the fight broke up a man charged over to a woman and said “what’s your name?!  my dog’s bleeding, it was your dog.”  The woman apologized and the chow was bleeding from the ear, so the woman apologized.  However, since the man was aggressive in his approach, OF COARSE her dog lunged.  She was visibly shaken by this man’s approach.  He also accused her dog of biting his hand where he had a spot of blood.  He made her write down her name and information, and she was so upset she had to leave. 

I’ve seen this woman at the dog park before.  She has a pitt mix puppy.  And I’ve never seen a problem with this dog before.  The dog did not instigate the fight, just charged into the brawl when it started.  Here’s what I think, knowing that legally the woman whose dog bit is entirely responsible for everything – but you stick your hand into a dog brawl, it’s likely to get bit.  I’ve had to pull a pitt off of Jack before, Jack was obviously pinned under and the owner wasn’t budging so I took him by the collar and yanked so Jack could get out.  There have been times where one dog is obviously aggressive and the owner is not taking the right preventative steps, people at the dog park usually step up and let the owner know unless he/she takes responsibility for training the dog, the dog is not welcome.  Especially in Berkeley where the majority of dogs are rescues.   But by the same token, I accept there is a risk of Jack getting injured at a dog park in a brawl.  I also worry when he attacks, but if someone takes special interest in Jack I usually give them a warning not to approach him directly because he will get fearful and respond in a lunge.  So far the worst experience I had was Jack going after a man and the leash escaped me and the man bounced around and around and around which just instigated Jack.  The chaotic dance of Jack lunging and this man bouncing around went on for a good minute or so.  To top it off, he was blocking me from my dog so I couldn’t reach Jack and I was so pissed by this man’s reaction.  It’s one thing to train a dog, it’s another to train a person how to respond to a dog.  Anyway, this was just a tough call.  The woman whose dogs started the fight has a history of dog brawl instigations, and the worst part is, she stands back and yells which, in my opinion, increases the chaos level.  I admit, I have a good dog and I’m lucky.  Just like I would never get a car bigger than my Jetta because I wouldn’t be comfortable driving it, I don’t know if I could get a dog bigger than 30 lbs because I don’t have the emotional fortitude to deal with the stress level in training.  But I learned after several bad experiences with Jack that me getting stressed makes a situation worse.  What does work, I make eye contact, stay calm, point to my nose, and make Jack focus on my nose until whatever chaotic is occurring goes away. 

Dogs are dogs.  They fight, play rough, and it’s important to know triggers and what they best respond to.  But I was upset by the entire situation and unsure who was right and what was fair.  I hope the girl and her dog are okay, I hope this doesn’t keep her away from the dog park because it’s so important to start socialization early.  I understand how seeing your dog bleed can be jarring, but how you react is also important and returning the aggression on the girl didn’t accomplish anything.  When Jack is a little older I want to adopt a little brother or sister for him, but I know this situation will stay in my mind when we go through the rescue process again.

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i’ve got nothing to say

Dear San Francisco tourists – WALK on the left, STAND on the right

I didn’t go to class this evening.  I went to have some vegan Vietnamese food in Oakland instead. 

Part of the reason I didn’t go to class is because of a sinus ache that is returning from over a month of not fully recovering from a sinus infection.

I haven’t run more than a mile or two in a while because my knee hurts, but I’m too scared to go to the doctor because I’ve convinced myself the doctor will want to replace my knee.  I’m too young for this.

I’ve put on some extra pudge.  But it doesn’t really bother me as much as it usually does.

Boy and I have grown close.  It’s nice.

The closer we get the more the events of last fall haunt me.  But that’s not a bad thing for me and boy.

Sometimes after watching Jon and Kate plus 8, I start talking to Jack like Kate does her kids.  Because I am a strong hard-ass and he will grow up to be the best dog he can be with my help.  I am shaping a dog people.

Jack just sneezed like 5 or 6 times in a row.

I was looking forward to BlogHer.  But now I am wary of such a large community of women.  Mostly because I am tired of mothers who think being a mother makes them more valuable an individual than other women who don’t have children.  It’s not cool.  I’m hoping stereotypes will be broken.

I have serious stomach issues.  Sometimes I have to rush boy home so I can go to the bathroom and he has taken to running in circles around me yelling “poop emergency!  it’s a poop emergency people!!”

Boy turns 38 tomorrow. 

I remind him of his age everyday.

I just made him some tea and saw a dead little fruit fly in the water and just scooped it out without changing the water. 

I don’t feel bad about this.  I think I would have done the same if it were my tea.

He’s going to read that and spit on my waffle in the morning.  But that’s okay.

Because I made him a chocolate cake with cayenne pepper and cinnamon.  It’s awesome.

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When I was 14 my grandfather died.  It was one of those deaths that everyone knew was coming.  My mom brought me and each of my siblings over one at a time to visit with him right before he died.  He was sort of fading in and out of talking gibberish and making sure we were all okay.  Every time he drifted my step-grandmother brought his attention to me, sitting at the foot of his bed, and he would smile.  I remember being woken up by my mom early one morning because she had sat with him through the night.  She sat on the side of my bed and woke me up and before she opened her mouth I knew what she was going to say.  I had a dream the night before I was locked in a room with his coffin.

This was a series of dreams I had been having for a good 6 months prior to his death.  I would wake up mid sobbing or puffy eyed and not really remember the dream but knew it had something to do with him.  I didn’t handle the funeral very well, but I blame my sister for that.  She’s the strong one.  And right before the wake she cracked like I had never seen her do before and it scared the shit out of me.  If she can’t handle something, I know I won’t be able to deal.

The dreams didn’t stop, however they did change.  The first one started with a phone call.  My grandfather called from heaven with some news to deliver and after talking to my mom and not being able to get her to listen, I got on the phone.  He told me the news, and I knew he had to hang up but I shouted “I miss you” and he was gone.  I woke up and ran to deliver the news to my mom.  The dreams continued sporadically and the phone calls changed to my grandfather coming over to spend a day with me around the house to catch up on how everyone was doing.  The weird part was sometimes we would speak in French.  I had always regretted not being able to speak in French with him (he was fluent – from Zurich) but I had yet to become fluent. 

Anyway, that’s the only death of someone who was very close to me.  And I don’t think the dreams were foreshadowing anything.  I think the dreams were there to help me deal with fear.  I wrote about my grandmother being sick.  She finally made it home last week after delays with infections.  And my dreams about death started up again.  And this isn’t foreshadowing anyone’s death.  That woman is a steel magnolia.  I expect she’ll surpass everyone’s expectations like usual, although she will take a little longer to do so this time around.

Instead this is more of a selfish concern about growing up.  I will face mortality again inevitably.  And I think my psyche is prepping me for facing my fears, getting the tears out in my sleep until I’m strong enough to think about them when I’m awake.  So I push away a little, call my mom, ask her to check up on people for me because I’m too scared to do it myself. 

I think part of learning how to love is learning how to deal with death.  No one is naturally good at dealing with death.  But I do know that the more I love someone, the more likely I am to keep a certain distance.  And I’m sure everyone does this to a degree.  The dreams that started again have knocked me off kilter.  I’m stubborn and really good at convincing myself I’m tough.  But not so much lately.

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this skirt will make me smarter, my thighs thinner, and my hair beautiful

I turned 27 on Sunday. 

I could go back and reflect “On Turning 26” but I spent a good year reflecting back on the decisions I made during that year and, well, sometimes it’s okay to not analyze everything.  I baked a tart (surprisingly delicious), had a good brunch (cafe cacao!), wore a dress (over jeans, b/c I insisted on wearing one despite the foggy cold), took off for the beach, watched Jack and boy dodge waves and get sand in their nooks and crannies, ate at my favorite restaurant Hulas Island Grill and Tiki Lounge, then drove home with a tired puppy passed out in the backseat and good tunes on the drive.  And then I stayed up to 2:30 am studying for a midterm, went to work, came home, and spent a solid 3.5 hours in a classroom on 12 midterm questions – and I didn’t even finish!  So I came home, cried a little, dug into my princess cake, then went to bed where I curled up in a tight little ball for most of the night and proceeded to dream that I was stuck in that classroom working on those 12 questions until 1 am. 

And now, a full day later, I’ve recovered from my midterm.  It helps that when I got home and sat down on the floor Jack took a tennis ball and nudged it all the way up my back just to let it fall.  Priorities, you know?

I got a tennis skirt for my birthday, which sounds weird, but I’ve been wanting one for a while.  And I fully expect my game to improve just by wearing a pleated tennis skirt.  And I’ll be wearing it to run in too.  Because I can.

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