Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Birthdays don’t stress me out

So this year’s birthday was unusually stress-free. I went to the gym in the morning, trying to get back into going in the morning. The guy that is usually there took my number and noticed that it was my birthday and wished me a happy birthday. So sometimes it is good that they have that sort of information, because it was a great way to start my day.

I will freely admit that I don’t think I got more than an hour worth of work done that day considering that it was a Tuesday. I had a meeting, our section had a Harvest Potluck around lunchtime and then we went to an Employee Appreciation Ceremony in the afternoon. I got cards and calls throughout the day, which I enjoyed. Thanks!

After work, I went up to Marin, chatted with my Mom as I drove (with a headset for safety) and went to dinner with Esther. We had yummy sushi and I got to pick up some cell phone accessories from her that I had ordered. So there were gifts all around.

I didn’t feel any older, although I have been putting my new age into the elliptical trainer because I thought that 36 might give me a little extra slack with the built-in heart rate monitor. The only place where I am fighting the signs of aging is my regular hair dying routine. Otherwise I’m okay with being 36 this year and 37 the next. Wow, that looks kinda old now that I’ve typed it up there. I suppose I didn’t really have any idea of what it was supposed to be like at this age. It should be interesting figuring that out.

Cat will be out this weekend and there will be continued birthday happiness. Since I didn’t do a cake yet this year, we might get cake and do a Sunday celebration. It reminds me of the Bill Cosby routine where he lets his kids have cake for breakfast and when they get caught by their Mom they turn on him, even though just moments ago they were singing his praises. So feel free to join me wherever you are. Get some cake and have it for breakfast Sunday morning, it’ll be fun. Plus think of all the stuff you could accomplish with a good sugar rush.

What kind of cake did you eat?

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Early Bird??

Yup yup, remember that plan I talked about just days ago? Well, I’ve actually executed said plan and I think that it might be my new Plan. Yes, The Plan. Okay don’t go back to look, I’ll just remind you, I was going to wake up really early and drive my car to the gym, then after working out, take the bus to work (2 buses actually) and then reverse the plan (although not going back into the gym unless the mood strikes) on the way home. So I woke up at 5 am as planned on Tuesday morning. I got to bed at a reasonable time and just got up when the alarm went off, brushed my teeth, pulled on the clothes that I had set out, grabbed my bag of work clothes, also set out the night before, went to the kitchen and grabbed my breakfast and lunch for the day (also pre-made the night before) and took off for the gym.

You can see that being awake isn’t an actual requirement for this plan. I got to the gym in about 10 minutes, which was great since I somehow thought it would take longer. I looked about for a spot that I liked, parked and executed the Plan perfectly. I was so impressed with myself. I knew that this plan was brilliant and actually easy.

I decided that I wouldn’t call it perfect until I got home, but I was already writing this journal entry on the bus ride home, because I couldn’t wait to tell you about it. That is until I lost my car. I walked to where I swore I parked it. It was about halfway down the street but not past the garbage dumpsters. Hmmm. I could have sworn it was right about here, but yet it wasn’t. I wondered if I somehow managed to overlook a sign that limited how long you could park there. No. I’ve parked all day here before when I worked for the software company. I walked down and then back up to the corner, because I did drive here *really* early and I might have been dreaming that I parked here. Boy would I be pissed if someone towed my car away. I started walking back to the front of the gym and realized that it was extremely unlikely that someone had my car towed away. What was more reasonable was that it was stolen. Yep. I stopped and thought about it and it just made more sense. Why not, it was an easy target and wouldn’t that just be the best way to end my relationship with this car whose praises I sang in this very journal. I decided right then and there that I would not fall for the allure of a convertible again and I would get a replacement that was sensible.

By this point, I had reached the corner and was about to go in when I realized that I didn’t park on that side of the gym. I pulled up and stopped in the original spot and then pulled out and parked on the other side when I realized that it wasn’t Monday and I could park on the side closer to the bus stop and not get a parking ticket. Yes, and there she was, sitting with her sad grey duct tape bandages. I actually felt a little bad as I approached the car. I mean, I had already decided on her replacement. I didn’t say anything as I got in and drove home, stopping at the supermarket to pick up something easy yet healthy to eat. I just couldn’t see cooking after all the emotional drama.

Today I did the plan again and was more thoughtful in my parking place. Nothing went astray, although it was a little rough after working out my shoulders and back to stand on the bus holding on while the Muni driver did his little airbrake dance (start, stop, stop stop, surge, stop, surge surge surge, STOP, …). For four long blocks. Next time I’ll just walk.

Tonight I got a spot in front of the house and I’ll be taking the bus both ways. Yeah, check me out, taking the bus everywhere. I haven’t felt this public transportation saavy since I was in high school and to young to drive where I wanted to go.

It’s the little victories that are the best, right? Tell me about your latest little victory.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Play day

I was off today. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have to work on Veteran’s Day. Actually the last time I had it off, I’m sure that I was in school. Earlier this weekend, I had a huge list of things I needed to do today, but through good planning or perhaps just good luck, the list was a lot shorter when I woke up this morning so I slept in.

This weekend I did a bunch of errands, I did *not* clean my room and I did go out and enjoy yummy Moroccan food with Di, her hubby and a few friends. Sunday I got to see a few of the people again as we went to see The Importance of Being Earnest at the Pardee Home in Oakland. I will rave a bit about the troupe that performed this. The group is called Woman's Will and is an all-female Shakespeare company. I first saw them perform Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre back in July on Di's Birthday. If you live in the Bay Area find out what they are performing and then go see them. Seriously. This play is running through early December. I had never seen this play before and am glad to have experienced it live rather than in a movie theatre. It was performed salon style. What that means is basically we were in an old historic house sitting in the living room and sitting room while actors dressed in appropriate period costume acted feet if not inches in front of us. And they were good. And funny. I had a hard time laughing because I was afraid I'd disturb their concentration or make them smile inapppropriately. Well I soon realized that they could handle this as they were professionals and I laughed out loud or quietly snickered for much of the performance. The actors were all very good and I've got a serious crush on the actor who played Algernon. I suspect it's in situations like this where being bi makes it easier for me than for others who might find themselves confused by their attraction to a male character being played by a woman. The part that I loved was that I so wanted a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich that the actors were enjoying. Imagine my thrill of having intermission be announced by the butler by informing us that tea was being served in the dining room!

Okay, back to my morning. For some odd reason we had lost power at some point (no storms or any reasonable cause) so I woke to hear my phone and printer beeping and burbling as they got juiced back up again. Then I went back to sleep. But don’t think I was slacking folks. Nope, that was actually on my list. I hung out in my little nest and listened to my housemates bustling about the house getting ready for work. I got out of bed around 9 and got out of the house by 10. I filled my car up with odd bits of things to put into storage (my snow brush, a bent trim cap for my car I’m saving so that I can replace it at some point, some extra shelves, bedding and such) and brought that over. Then I took a leisurely drive over to 19th street to pick up some dim sum for lunch. It was a gorgeous day so I decided that I should eat at the beach and did. Then I went to the Balboa Theatre to see a double feature Secretary and White Oleander. Neither had great reviews but I’d read about both of them and thought that for 2.50 a piece they’d be entertaining enough. And they were. I won’t get into spoiler details here, in case you were thinking about seeing these movies. If you want to chat about them, you’ll have to send me email. I was really annoyed with the people who were behind me during The Secretary. They were obnoxiously loud and their comments made it obvious that they didn’t get the characters at all. I’d hate to sit next to them at a David Lynch movie. I had read White Oleander before I saw the movie. They did leave out a lot of the book, as usual, but I liked the actors they cast in it. I also wondered if an artist needs to suffer in order for their work to have depth. In this movie there seemed to be a lot of suffering on the part of the characters that were artists.

After the movie I went to the market to pick up some critical items, came home and cooked dinner and prepared breakfast and lunch for tomorrow. You may have noticed that I didn’t mention going to the gym. It’s because I didn’t go. But I will be going tomorrow morning before work. I’ve laid out my clothes and gotten everything ready so there is no need to think until I actually arrive at work tomorrow morning. I’ve even worked out the time schedule for the buses I need to catch in order to get to work in time. The plan being to drive to the gym, take the bus to work and then take the bus back to my car and drive it home and park it. This way I move the car around more and can hopefully prevent it from looking tempting to people by leaving it in one place for too long. I am still looking for a secure parking spot. Then I’ll just take the bus unless I need the car for something. I figure that this plan will make it easier to get tot he gym regularly like I did early in the year. I just need to be more mindful the night before.

All in all, I had an enjoyable day. Lots of mindless distractions, a sunny lunch at the beach watching the waves and tourists go by, a couple of movies and a quiet evening at home.

What more could I ask for?

Friday, November 8, 2002

Influential Weather and Friends

I’ve been battling a foul mood lately and think I may have figured out why. It has nothing to do with the fact that I discovered my convertible roof got slashed again the night it decides to release 6 months worth of pent-up rain. It wasn’t stoked by anxious thoughts wondering if the shipping tape I had would be able to keep the ever-constant rain from pouring in and soaking my seats. I parked under a tree y’know and that would deter a raindrop or two. Sure it’s a good reason to be in a pissy mood, but it hasn’t gone away yet even though I was able to bring it in and get it patched for free at the body shop that installed the new top.

I’m happy to be working, even with my worried undertones. (If you are thinking that you’ll try to reassure me, hold that thought for about this for about a year. I’ll be off of probation then and am likely to be more consolable. ) I’m feeling useful and starting to find my place. I’m going to start making appointments next week to meet business partners. It allows me to get some first hand experience learning what they really want from IT and not what we think they need. This is the sort of stuff I enjoy and I want people to feel like I might actually make a difference. I took a bunch of calls today during these bizarre power outages. I still need to learn how the various systems work, but no one noticed today. They were just happy to get someone to tell them what was going on.

So what’s responsible for these up and down moods? Okay I’ll just cut to the chase, the weather seems to be linked directly to my moods. Seriously. This isn’t like the time I thought that the A’s would win if I watched their games. Even though I had an 8 game streak. On the rainy days I lean toward surly and bitter. When it stops I start to brighten up and joke with co-workers or housemates. When the sun is out, things are brighter and lighter in my attitude.

But another outside influence is the company that I keep. I was thinking about my ex the other day and missing how she would be able to distract me from my own worries enough to realize that things weren’t so bad. But I’m really happy that I have some good friends in my life right now. It doesn’t seem to matter if we are just hanging out or doing something special, I feel like I can just be myself around them. This past week, Betty had Di and I over for a Buffy night. I cooked dinner in someone else’s kitchen as if it were my own, which is very cool. Last weekend Di and I made waffles and chatted on Saturday morning and the weekend before last, Esther brought me down to south city for a real philipino breakfast. I don’t know how I lived life before garlic rice and chopsilog. Of course I will be passing this neat bit of fun eating along to any other adventurous friends. I totally love the neat diversity of this city. I still think about how thankful I am that Cabala and Shavon were there to help me move. And I’m pleasantly surprised how cool my housemate Pablito is. I had gone into the kitchen to get some water from the fridge and he was cooking some food to bring to the big game last weekend. We got to chatting and next thing I know I was helping him chop up some veggies. He seems more easy going than our other housemate which seems to be what I need right now. The other day we got a note on the fridge asking us to finish up our monthly chores. My first reaction was not pretty, especially because I had planned on doing that night. Now I wanted to be rebellious (how dare she tell me what to do like we were children) and annoyed because I really wanted to clean that evening. I ended up cleaning because I suspected that I was making a big deal out of nothing and have every intention of sitting down with the offending housemate to tell her how I felt about the note.

If I was still living with the ex, I know that it would have bothered me more. Friends seem to diffuse things for me and help me keep life in proper perspective. They rock. I went to a political issues party to figure out what the hell I should be voting for. Granted we all seemed to bring sweet snacks to share and I blame the sugar, the visiting puppies and the extra long propositions list for some of the light-hearted wackiness that transpired that afternoon. I did feel more prepared for the 8 page ballot and knew what people were running and which issues were important to me.

Even the friends I hardly ever see are good for me. You are the ones who send me email or call me telling me what’s going on in your life or sharing your insight with me. I know we’ll be friends for a long while even though we are too busy or far away to do much more than regular email. This isn’t a cheap ploy to get you to write me, It’s a well thought-out scheme that should work. Plus I’ve got the added benefit of birthday guilt that should be hitting you soon. Don’t worry I’m sure that I’ll have birthday thoughts to post. I’ve been avoiding thinking about my birthday. Not that I dread getting older. I just tend to get a case of birthday blues and unless the weather shifts this could get bad. But we aren’t going there today.

Where did you go today and how’s your weather?