Monday, December 14, 2009

Double Trouble

So I had this friend in uni who wasn't the nicest guy but somehow we got along fine. He was just an ogre and all the girls on my rugby team despised him for good reason. He even made a few of them cry at training when we had combined drills. But I liked him, even though I was well aware that he kinda sucked. He was always honest with me, even saying unflattering things to me about how I wasn't very feminine but he also admitted that he was not nice to girls and probably only liked me because I wasn't very feminine. I somehow managed to balance not girly with not trying to be a boy either. He liked that I could talk about things that interested him instead of whatever he imagined women talked about. And I could tell him that he sucked and he agreed. He grew up in a very tough neighborhood and had gunshot scars to prove it. I had never met anyone like him. He eventually got his degree in civil engineering and went to work on an oil rig where no one cared that he had been to prison because they had all been also. And I said prison, not jail.

Anyway, a few years later I was shocked speechless when I heard that he got married. And his wife is certainly no tomboy. She is a sharp witted beauty queen who isn't afraid to stand up to him and tell him if he's being a donkey. And he practically kneels before her, which is more than I ever could have hoped for. But this doesn't mean that he's become nice to other women.

This year I found out that they were expecting. She has two rowdy boys from previous relationships and I know he was very excited to have another boy to add to the small football team he was assembling. Tell me if you can guess where I'm going with this.

If you guessed that she gave birth to a girl, you are partially correct. If you guessed that they now have twin redheaded princesses then pat yourself on the back. I have spent the past week looking at their pictures on facebook and giggling. As it turns out, he is quite smitten with his daughters but he also is aware that there are a lot of women having a good laugh over this.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On love


Former Latina chief editor Sandra Guzman wrote about Justice Sonia Sotomayor in "Her Honor," which I recommend for reading. Using the many statements given by friends and family (Justice Sotomayor does not give interviews herself), Guzman presents a warm, humble, and charitable woman in addition to what I already know about how smart and committed she is. What especially struck me was how Guzman gave a LOT of details of Justice Sotomayor's love life and how these details surprised me. She has led quite a full life and imparts wisdom despite not completely succeeding in love herself:

[Sotomayor] told me that we have been wrongfully taught the Cinderella fairy tale as a paradigm for what happy relationships are supposed to be. And when we fall short of that, we suffer for it.

To find happiness in love, she said, we have to make up our own rules. It's not easy, but it's doable. The process may involve unlearning what we have been taught and then figuring out what makes us happy. There are all types of relationships and arrangements to choose from. Of course, the trick is finding a companion who shares those values.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Number 7, you rock

While I feel that the hair pulling, punching, face kicking soccer player from New Mexico was evil and possibly psychotic (ask me from what school was the player who gave me the bite mark scar on my hand during West playoffs in university), I am rooting for number 7.

Number 7, in blue, is the only woman on her school hockey team at Exeter (PA). Her team was playing against East Penn Scholastic Hockey League rivals, Gov. Mifflin. She was circling the net when two Mifflin goons decided to tag team her and knock her to the ground. Watch her give as good as any boy in the ensuing madness.

This goes against everything I have said about hating violence in sports. I know this. But in the words of my father when I got sent home from school in 3rd grade for fighting back against a boy bully, "good for you."

Monday, November 30, 2009

I thought I had 20

As I was laying in bed beside SB I heard snip, snip. I opened my eyes to discover a horrible sight. "Are you trimming your nose in hair in bed!?"

"Don't move," he said in lieu of explanation or embarrassment as he maneuvered his multi-tool around his nose.

I thought I had at least 20 more years before the nose hair became a concern. And add another fifteen to that before I had to worry about his dementia.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

20000 Leagues Under the Sea


Researchers studying the Mid-Atlantic ridge have recently recorded 17,650 species living below 656 feet, where sunlight does not reach. These creatures are more fantastic than what I would conjure in my imagination (and according to SB I have quite the imagination).

Enypniastes, source: Larry Madin / AP


The creatures come with equally fascinating names like Grimpoteuthis (the dumbo eared one) and Enypniastes, a transparent sea cucumber.

This brings only one thought to mind: how envious would everyone be when I served these possibly highly endangered and pricey specimens at my wedding banquet?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

my life is like a movie

...only a bad one. I am going to rant about work. Just warning you.

I had another long work week this week, made even longer by getting sick late in the week. I worked during the weekend and left the office well after midnight on Monday trying to finish two proposals that were due on Wednesday. This was made even more difficult by the fact that my direct supervisor informed me that he could not be in the office on Tuesday so I would have to finish without him. He and I do not have an easy relationship. He relies on me far more than I think is appropriate and I feel that I spend a lot of excess time and effort on work that he has not properly thought out. I was not exactly surprised when by the time he left on Monday night that a lot had not been worked out and I was uncomfortable with being left with so much responsibility but I sucked it up and forced myself to be very precise and resourceful. I finished the last proposal and sent it to print at 5am on Wednesday and went home to shower before returning to the office to do one last look through before printing. When the supervisor returned to the office at 9am, everything was waiting for him to pass to the clients.

Another coworker had stayed through most of the night assisting me and later in the morning we commiserated over being exhausted. He suggested that we ask for compensation leave. "What is that?" I asked. Apparently our office has a policy that if you work a significant portion of overtime you can ask to take some time off from work. In all of my all-nighters at this office I had never been made aware of this policy. We went to the supervisor to ask to leave in the afternoon. He did not directly say no but he told us in so many words that even though this was an office policy, "others" might frown upon me leaving work early. I told him that I was quite tired and he made some weird sighing noises and said that he was just concerned of how this would be perceived by the director. So was that a no, I asked. He never did outright say no. As I walked to my desk, my coworker told me that the supervisor was weird. The director has personally allowed the coworker to take leave on many occasions of staying overnight to work. He was pretty sure that most of the staff respected this policy but I was not willing to take the risk.

I didn't think anything of it until we all were leaving for lunch. As we were standing in the lift lobby, another of the supervisors asked my supervisor how Disneyland was. Wait, what?! I was sure that I was hearing incorrectly. I turned and saw my supervisor looking uncomfortably in my direction. "It was okay," he said very, very quietly to the other supervisor and immediately began speaking in Cantonese.

I could feel my face burning. I was furious! I stayed up all night finishing two proposals that were his responsibility so that he could go to Disneyland on a weekday? And he was "concerned" over how it would look if I took the afternoon off to catch up on my sleep? Then I thought to myself, I bet that coworker was correct about the director granting leave without prejudice and supervisor was just keeping me around to do more work. When I returned to my desk after lunch, I emailed the director and asked for compensation leave. I received a two word reply: go now.

As I was packing up, supervisor approached with a stack of work for me. He asked where I was going and I told him that I was taking my earned compensation leave. "I have some things I want you to look at before you go," he told me. Then he made me sit at the conference table. He was getting too comfortable laying out the paperwork and I quickly realized this was not going to be quick, not that he cared at all. But then, like a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds, the director walked by the conference room. "What are you doing?" he asked. Supervisor actually got flustered. He started to say what he was making me do and then changed to say that we could discuss it tomorrow. I didn't wait around for him to start up again once the director's back was turned. I followed the director out of the conference room and made a beeline for the lift. Unfortunately I was already coughing and sneezing as I got into the lift. By Thursday morning I was wrecked. I finished the rest of this week in a fog.

Monday, November 16, 2009

He did not go gentle into that good night

SB informed me that he was going to a trade show in Paris for a little over a week. This was not a great shock, as I had been hearing bits and pieces of his plans as he was making them, even if he never quite got around to telling me when he was going. Well, he left on Friday and boy does he know how to make one heck of an exit...once he got around to informing me of said exit.

So on Thursday he said that he was leaving on Friday. It was late Thursday, around 11pm to be precise. This was promptly followed by a poorly disguised attempt to convince me to pack for him while acting like he was just asking for advice on what to pack. We spent an hour sorting out "military-trade show-salesman-reputable businessman" wear, and then weeded out the clothing with missing buttons and threadbare crotches. Didn't we buy him four pairs of pants and several shirts two months ago? Ah, but those were all in the mountain of laundry that he never got around to laundering. At about 1 am I protested that I had an 8:30 meeting and crawled off to bed. I could hear him flailing around for a few more minutes before he crawled into bed and made me promise to help pack before his flight. Then he flattened me against the wall and snored away.

On Friday evening he asked me to meet him by the printer's shop after work. I assumed that he wanted to grab a bite to eat before going home to pack but boy was I mistaken. He had over 40 kilos....let me repeat...OVER 40 KILOS of brochures and samples that he needed me to help him load into a taxi. WTF??!! I was wearing a pencil skirt and heels. I was not happy. He got stink eye. When no taxi was to be seen (what does one expect at 7:30 on Friday night?) he had me lug two boxes of brochures down three blocks until we fortunately flagged down a cab. Then I dragged the boxes up four flights of stairs in our walk-up and collapsed in the middle of the living room, not at all dramatically. And I certainly was not dramatic when I saw the condition of my beautiful heels.

I helped SB get the rest of his luggage packed and realized that we now had 80 kilos of samples, brochures, clothing, and etc. in two suitcases and one enormous backpack. The limit is 22 kilos. SB had this idea that he would pay some overweight luggage fee and be on his way but I was concerned that Air France was not going to let such egregiously overweight luggage onto their plane, excess fee or no.

And this is where I shall tell you that I could almost believe in supernatural events and karma because the cosmos always seems to allow my SB to pass on sticky situations. SB's friend, Tom, rang us up as SB was getting me to reweigh everything (because if I stand on the scale long enough, the luggage will lose 60 kilos) and told him that he had heard from another friend that SB was going to Paris and guess what? Tom was flying out on Cathay fifteen minutes later on Friday and wanted to share a ride to the airport. So SB asked him how much luggage he had and Tom responded that he was only bringing a carry on. And this is how Tom's business class, frequent flyer, VIP self ended up with 40 kilos of luggage. Now SB only had to pass 40 off as 22. Well, I got my revenge. We checked 22.6 into the flight and he carried the rest in his carry on which no one bothered to weigh for compliance with the 8 or so kilo limit. As I was kissing him goodbye at the gate I sternly told him to stop hunching over because everyone would know he had on an 18 kilo backpack. And then I watched him walk stiff legged into the terminal as I cackled with glee. "Have a lovely time in Paris and buy me presents!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ahem...onto my soapbox

According to a recent report by the World Health Organization, AIDS is the leading cause of death and disease in women aged 15 - 44 worldwide although maternal mortality is a close runner up, accounting for 15% of adult female deaths.

And yet the Catholic church still won't let you use birth control...because they believe in life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

well, at least I have boobs

One year and three brand changes later, I am still dissatisfied with my birth control options. I miss my old tricylen. I went from one brand causing me to put on almost 15 lbs in six months to another that reduced my sex drive to that of a giant panda. I couldn't believe that SB even wanted to instigate sexy time considering that I looked a bit like a giant panda as well. I finally settled into Yaz, which has the lowest hormones of all the birth control I investigated. Who's paying attention to all those news stories about women dying of blood clots, anyway, when I'm finally feeling good about myself?

One side effect of almost all birth control pills is that they reduce the ability to gain lean muscle mass by as much as 60%. I can personally attest to this. I used to put on muscle rather quickly, especially during rugby season. I feel as strong as before, but I don't have those obliques sticking out of my sides or the arms that used to make my roommate jealous. I would attribute some of the missing muscle to the fact that I still need to lose those last 8 lbs that I put on last year and perhaps the muscle is lurking somewhere beneath the fat, but I can see that I just don't have it when I flex in the mirror and nothing major happens. The good news is that my desire to see muscle has kicked up my workout routine and so the weight is slowly dropping off. Nothing drastic, but I am losing about 1/2 lb per week. By the time SB gets his proposal together I shall be similar to my original size, albeit softer looking. At least SB is enjoying the boobs. Actually, I am also. I have spent more than a few occasions skipping around the flat, telling SB to check out my rack. I have never really had boobs before so I can be forgiven for my narcissism. I come from a family of mammorific women and yet I never quite graduated from my original bra. But all good things must come to an end and these shall disappear when I get in shape. The other day I told SB to kiss them goodbye because I was ramping up my workout and he literally tried to do so. Dork.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I found out some very sad news tonight. An architecture student has died "unexpectedly." He took a leave of absence two years ago, right before I finished my thesis. I was so busy at the time that I never spoke to him. Before Rio there was another student, from Hong Kong, who took his life after failing his thesis.

I wish that I could go back in time and tell these young men that nothing is ever so big. What seemed unbearable to me when I was in my teens and twenties is a forgotten memory. Don't ever think that it is too late because it doesn't have to be. We should all allow ourselves room to grow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the sound of a wall crashing down

Being the more verbose of the two of us, I was easily pulling ahead in our ongoing debate. I was happily mortaring up the latest brick in my growing wall of defense when he pulled out this response:

"I am not saying that we should have children but if we don't I will, on some level, feel like a failure by Darwinian standards."

Oooh, burn! Now I have to rebuild. Perhaps an essay on how Darwinian standards are outdated in an increasingly fragile ecosystem.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

who's going to carry the pig?

SB and I attended a remarkable wedding this weekend. It was quite the banquet, with three hours of cocktails, during which the bride and groom stood in the same place and took hundreds of photos, followed by a 13 course dinner and live band. I was exhausted and I imagine the bride and groom were also, even though you never would have known it from their glowing smiles. The event almost made me rethink my plan to elope to the nearest register.

Up until this weekend I had almost convinced SB of my plan. I sweetly described the scene of us strolling leisurely through the botanical gardens where I used to walk every week with my family 20 years ago on our weekly return from mass at St. Josephs. We would then make our way to the historic Rawlinson House where we would be quickly and easily married. I even found out that the US does not require registration of the wedding and would simply acknowledge our union as long as it is legal under HK law. Piece of cake!

SB is not against my proposal, but I can see that he is still leaning toward a more formal event. He still wants a formal engagement with a shiny ring, followed by a wedding in his beloved Adirondacks. He is even more keen now that he knows that I don't care where we get married. Since I could not talk him into my plan, I tried to talk him out of his.

"You realize that if we do the big blowout in the woods, then my family will want a hometown reception as well?" He nodded. "I think it's going to be very costly...and not just financially."

While we would be having the typical American wedding in the Adirondacks, my family event would have to include our Vietnamese heritage. Our traditions are very similar to the Chinese. This means that SB would have to show up at my parents' house with his groomsmen and be put through their paces by my family. My father would demand proof of his devotion. My mother would want him to show his gentle side. My ong ba ngoai (grandparents) would be so excited that they would have no demands. But my sister...I cackled gleefully at the thought of my sister's demands.

My sister and I are as dissimilar as two sisters can be, but we share mutual fierce love for each other. While I am a bit of a tomboy despite my shoe addiction, my sister is very feminine. She is a doting nurse practitioner who always smells like flowers. She loves to go dancing, doesn't consume alcohol, always looks pretty, and can somehow manage to endear others while being a diva. When she met SB, she expressed a mixture of delight and horror. She thought he was handsome and funny and appropriately crazy about me but she was appalled by how "manly" he was. "He needs to treat you better," she lectured me, "You should be his princess." She seemed disappointed when I told her not to hold her breath for him to start showering me with presents like her boyfriend did. And while she was at it, she shouldn't hold her breath over me turning into a princess either. SB does buy me flowers and presents, just not every week. And if he recited poetry for me I would probably never have sex with him again.

Yes, if SB wants the princess wedding, he will have to deal with my princess sister. I gleefully described to him how I imagined that she would put him through his paces. She would demand money and presents from him, proof of his ability to sustain me. She would inspect the groom's entourage to make sure that they were committed to assisting him in caring for me. His family would have to carry a large feast to show how much they would offer for me. And you know how these Asian weddings are.

Someone in his family would have to carry the pig.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

we say the darndest things

I decided that a solution to SB eating my dinner would be to make him lots of food so that he would not eat mine. I had never made a pizza before but it wasn't too hard. SB had mentioned how much he liked the Chicago deep dish (I am a fan of the thin, char-crusted Napoli style myself) so I dug up a recipe and it turned out great. I wanted to include pictures, as I was so proud of it, but SB literally bumped me out of the way and dove into it while it was cooling on the counter. I am not exaggerating. He had been waiting for not even thirty minutes but the scent of it baking sent him into a frenzy. I could only watch in dismay as he was bent over the counter, shoving his face into the pizza like a crazed animal.

It was only then that I realized how bad his carb addiction is.

Later that night, we had an interesting conversation.

me: Baby...
SB: yes?
me: If we were stuck in some deserted island, would you eat me?
SB: Well, would you be dying?
me: Yes. Both of us are starving to death.
SB: Maybe. Yes.
me: But I'm not the only one dying. We both are. Can't we just die together?
SB: That doesn't sound so smart.
(long pause)
SB: Well, maybe we could try to prolong it. What if we just ate a leg or something.
me: I don't want you to eat my leg! Wouldn't you feel awful after we got rescued, knowing that you ate my leg?
SB: I wasn't saying yours. (reaching down and feeling my leg) Yeah, there's not so much meat there.
me: But a leg makes me sad. What if we just lopped off my butt?
SB: No, that won't work
me: How about the extraneous parts? We could first remove my appendix...and a kidney.
SB: Too much risk of infection.
me: how about drinking blood?
SB: No good. You would lose more energy trying to recover. No net gain.
...the thing would be very hard to motivate myself to lop off a leg.
me: I know. I would be very upset. We should just die together.
(then I snuggle up to him, satisfied with my solution)
SB: sigh.

Almost all of our danger scenario conversations end with me wanting to go down with him and him wanting to do whatever it took to survive. If this situation ever did occur, I can predict that he will let me think that we are going to slowly starve together but then he would hold out until I passed away and then eat me. Win-win situation.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mommy needs a time out

I came home last night to a quiet home because SB was in the middle kingdom visiting his factory. After not hearing from him I perused the fridge for a tasty leftover. There was one serving of spaghetti that was calling my name. I heated up my plate and sat down to watch some rugby on my computer when SB suddenly arrived, hungry. What was for dinner? Well, since you never called to let me know that you were coming home tonight, there is no dinner. He let me know that he liked my spaghetti. I asserted that it was mine. He sat next to me and made no attempt to find food. Feeling a bit of sympathy, I offered him a bite while he thought about dinner. Then I took two bites and let him take another bite. One scrum on the computer later, he returned to me an empty plate. "Did you just eat my dinner?!" He looked surprised, "Oh, I thought you were done and letting me finish it," "Why would I only want two bites of food for dinner?" I was not amused. This was the third time he has consumed my dinner and left me hungry. He offered to run to the grocery store but it was way too late for that. The only option was reheated dumplings from 7-11. I shot him my most dreadful stinkeye while I gnawed on some fish flavored dough blobs.

Later on, I retreated to my room to play with my new toy. No, not that kind of toy. I bought a Powerball from Escapade sports earlier. It is a gyroscopic toy that develops my wrists and arms, and apparently is good for carpal tunnel syndrome. SB immediately wanted in on the fun even though he was already playing with my ipod. He took it out of my hand because I wasn't working it properly and proudly showed off his abilities. "Hey," he said, "this is surprisingly fun!" Yes, yes it is. Especially when you're not watching someone else have fun. I could see that he wasn't tiring so I walked off to do the dishes. A minute later I heard a yelp. I shook my head and went to check on my overgrown teenager. Apparently he was so interested in the rapidly spinning ball that he held the Powerball to his chest to see what would happen. Did I mention that he was pleasantly fuzzy? Can you guess what happened? So I had my new toy for less than four hours and it was already covered in ripped out chest hair.

I snatched the Powerball and put it away. Unfortunately when you are the midget in the relationship, there is no place out of reach.

I need a drink.

Monday, October 12, 2009

another doomsday approaches

This shall be the last, last, last day of the universe, as opposed to the last day and the last, last day. For everyone who missed the spaceship in Y2K there is another day for the end of the world, for the Mayan calendar is about to run out. And we all know what that means.

No, not because the calendar writers may have simply lost interest in adding more years to their precise and rigorous record, but because that was when they knew it would all be over for mankind. 2012 is the end of the world, but don't discuss that with the Mayan. Apparently they're sick of hearing about it. Oh, and they would like us to know that actually, some of the ancient calendars actually go on to 4772.

And they don't sell flute music. Those are the Inca.

Friday, October 9, 2009

the ball and chain

I took advantage of last week's Thursday holiday to participate in my first ladies' night in Wanchai. After hearing my sad story of not having girl friends in HK, the ladies from the Valley team invited me out. As soon as I could leave work, I raced home and threw on one of the summer dresses in my closet. As I was fleeing the flat, SB followed in hot pursuit. Ahem, did I not tell him that I was going out with the girls? He remembered but was simply accompanying me to Wanchai because he fancied a kabob at Ebeneezer's. At least that was his story. We shared a taxi and arrived right in front of Ebeneezer's. I kissed him goodbye and took off for Typhoon's to meet the ladies...but he was still following. Then I got a text that the women had already moved on to Swindler's. I had to move fast if I wanted in on ladies' night. I dashed off toward Swindler's for my first ever tray of shots. But that would have to wait for another night because the ladies were now moving on the Carnegie's where they hoped to get in some dancing. We all met at the corner of Lockhart and Fenwick. "Hello ladies," I said. "Hello," they replied. Then, awkward pause. "Er, do you know SB?" I indicated to my shadow. He actually looked shy. Finally I asked, "Do you mind if he hangs out with us?" At this point, Liz smiled broadly and graciously invited him along.

And so this is how ladies' night became ladies and SB night. I think some of the women were slightly surprised and amused that he was along. He happily raced along with us as we went from bar to bar, even joining us in dancing. Eventually he grew tired and I took him home. I was happy to leave with him and delighted at my new-found female friends. I happily embrace my fuzzy shadow because it was not so long ago that this would have been incomprehensible.

After dating for five months, SB and I attended the wedding of one of his best friends. The groom, three other men, and SB had grown up together. I was chatting with one of the besties as we watched others dance around us. He casually joked about how SB never would dance. "Really?" I was not aware of this. SB and I had never gone out dancing but he liked to drag me around the house to anything from the Rolling Stones to Frank Sinatra. "He has never danced as long as I have known him," his friend warned. Of course I had to give it a shot. "Dance with me," I asked/demanded. For the next three songs, SB indulged me, which was not an easy task due to the fact that several people who had known him for practically his entire life we openly staring at us in shock. Or at least they were staring at him. I guess it wasn't an exaggeration that he didn't dance. If only they could see him now, shaking his carcass for all it was worth to Billie Jean in the midst of a large group of women.

I also recalled a time when I was not amused with him. After living in different countries for almost a year, we reunited in the Adirondacks before I moved with him to Hong Kong. I was very excited to be with him again and began wistfully asking him about when we would next be able to make it to the woods on vacation. He replied that while we were in Asia, we should be taking advantage of closer vacation destinations, such as skiing in Japan. "I don't know how to ski but I could learn," I began, but then he clarified that we didn't always have to go together on vacations. In fact, he was an advocate of separate vacations and had gone on quite a few in his other previous relationships. This did not make me happy. We had been separated for almost a year and he was talking about separate vacations?!

As it turns out, he seems to have forgotten that he likes separate vacations. This fact pleases me greatly. I am one of those people I used to detest. When I went to summer camp as a child, my parents would always happily send me off and wish me well. When I arrived at camp, among all the well adjusted campers was always some miserable child whose mother and father were asking if the child would miss them and pretty much making the poor child insecure and needy. "Try not be be sad and miss your dear mommy and daddy," they would say as they prepared little Sarah for a homesick, racked with guilt, afraid to have fun, time.

Yes, that's right. I foster his attachment to me so that I feel important. And now I am going to bake him his favorite dish in the whole world and remind him that I am the only one who can make it for him. Except that I wrote out the recipe for his sister and stepmother. Damn.

Monday, September 28, 2009

does this thing have a shelf life?

I have been on a roller coaster of a week, emotionally speaking. With SB's declaration of wuv and commitment I have entered perhaps a zen-like state of mind...if I knew what zen-like really was. First I was excited, then scared (whoa, this is happening so fast all of a sudden), then excited again. I was pretty sure that I knew from almost the moment we met that we would always be together but I guess the hiccups along the way put my visions of happily ever after on the storage shelf next to "learn to weave" and "raise my own chickens." It was an intended goal, but perhaps not for the moment.

I always knew that SB would get there, but not quickly. Being ready to commit yourself to one person takes time and like I said, he is Hamlet. While I decided in the first month together that this was it and skipped happily along after that, he has pondered and agonized and probably constructed large charts and models to calculate when his moment of "aha" would come. He told me that it was immensely relieving when I once confessed to him that in the height of our troubles I had experienced doubt.

Of course I had doubt! I also had insecurity, sadness, craziness, and anger. I let my fear of his past get in the way. I was overwhelmed by outside forces in our relationship. But that did not mean that I did not believe in our future. I loved him throughout the ups and downs. And it was easy to do with all the ups.

Now that we have decided, I guess our last two steps are the ring and the wedding. He is planning the proposal and that excites me. But I think I am more excited that we are both committed than I am about him proposing. I'm sure it will be lovely and romantic because it is coming from him, but is it weird to just want to stay like this a bit longer? I am suddenly free to look at him and think, he wants to marry me! I can finally say that I no longer have worry. I want to savor this moment and make it last, but for how long? Is there an expiration date for how long you can wait from yes to I do? Why is it that SB is suddenly so ready that he has passed my readiness? Is it my turn to grow up?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

just like that

Just like that, poof, he changed. Looking back, I think it was actually a two year long process, but the big change happened suddenly.

I thought we were in for another bad night. SB paused for a very long time and then began clearing his throat, which he only does when he is unsure of how to proceed. After much throat clearing he finally told me that a certain former friend had contacted him again. I immediately felt my eyes filling with tears but was able to force them back. Another long pause followed before I finally said the words that I had been dreading to say. "I know how much X's friendship meant to you and if you two are ready to be friends again then I will do my best to deal with it and be happy for you." He reminded me that he knew this. Almost exactly one year ago when X withdrew the friendship I had told SB that I felt bad for him and was sorry that it had come to this.

X and SB had been friends for many, many, many years. I was slightly aware of X even before SB and I began dating because we began as friends and he had confided in me about a very complicated friendship. He wanted to be friends forever. He liked having X's friendship but lately they had been arguing and SB was constantly being accused of being selfish and ruining X's life. Then the problems seemed to go away and they were friends again, often chatting on the phone together on a weekly basis. Then SB and I started dating. A few months into our relationship he got an angry phone call. X felt neglected. X decided to feel better by attacking SB's self esteem. Then X decided to start making fun of me. Despite having never met me X pretty much stalked me from SB's Facebook profile and then launched an attack.

I won't go into the gory details but I will say this: the attack went on for more than a year. It was mostly about X being unable (unwilling) to find happiness. SB's happiness was unbearable but X was unable to refrain from quizzing SB about very intimate details of our relationship and then go ballistic. I was furious at SB. I could not understand how he was willing to allow this person to cause so much nuisance to our relationship. SB's pleaded for me to let him handle things in his own way but he was entirely ineffective. Worse, he kept allowing X to harrass and demean him and attack our relationship through words of "advice."

We finally agreed that some boundaries needed to be enforced. If SB was too oblivious (unwilling) to recognize when someone was interfering, then he was not to talk about the two of us to X at all. They could discuss anything else but not a word about our relationship. Within a few months of SB refusing to discuss me with X, he was summoned and fired from their friendship. SB was very sad about it. I was sad for him but relieved for myself. I told him at the time that they would be friends again someday. It wasn't the first time SB was told that they were no longer friends."No, I think X is serious this time," he said. I turned my head so he wouldn't see me rolling my eyes. "X will be back with a vengeance."

And I was right. I did think that I would have more than just one year of respite. I could feel the tears of self pity welling up again. And then he surprised me.

"Well, actually X wrote to me a month ago."

"Oh? Wait, why are you telling me this."

SB took another long pause. "I do want to be friends with X again one day. We will be friends again one day, I hope. But for now I am not ready. I am not going to write back to X until things are settled between you and me."

"What things?"

"I want to marry you."

Oh. When things were tough over a year and a half ago, I was unhappy that SB would not grow up and stop letting people walk all over him because he wanted to be liked. After I gave up and decided that I loved him anyway, he went ahead and changed.

"Umm...was that a proposal?"


"Oh thank goodness."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

running on half a tank

SB and I got in a doozy of a fight for no good reason. The night began on a low note because I had worked until midnight the night before and left the office tired and hungry at about 8:30. SB's phone was running low on battery so we quickly ended the conversation and agreed to meet in the atrium of Times Square. I arrived a few minutes later and proceeded to wait. And wait and wait. I tried to phone him but the calls went straight to voicemail. Twenty minutes into the wait, I started venturing out to the escalators to see if I could spot him coming from the subway. thirty minutes later I was really, really hungry and sweating profusely in the humidity and heat. Forty minutes later I stomped down to the plaza and found him wandering about.

He was also furious. He had been waiting there almost as long as I was in the atrium. He didn't know the difference between an atrium and a plaza. The river of sweat pouring down my back distracted me from attempting to be understanding. "It doesn't matter; I looked out here for you also." He replied, "were you looking with your eyes?"

That did it. I accused him of belittling me every time we have a disagreement and he went on about my vision impairment. It ended with me telling him to go find dinner alone because I was going to the food court by myself. And then I stomped off.

A few minutes later I really began to feel rotten. SB and I had not fought in many months and this argument made me feel physically ill. I ran back upstairs from the food court but he was already gone. Not knowing what to do but no longer hungry I boarded the tram to Happy Valley thinking that maybe he went home. As the tram went by Leighton Road I looked up and saw him walking in the direction of Wanchai. My heart sank as I realized that he was not looking for me but was probably going to find some dinner. But then I realized that it didn't matter because I wanted to make amends regardless. Unfortunately I took too long to chase after him and the tram had started moving so I was unable to disembark. I could only stare sadly at him as the tram crawled away.

I wanted to call out his name but didn't. Instead I went home and waited.

He arrived 20-30 minutes later. He was surprised to see me. When I told him that I had passed him on the tram he told me that he had started to walk home and realized that he didn't want to be without me so he turned around and went back to the food court. After not finding me there he went home in defeat.

"Let's never fight again," I squeaked.

"Done," he said. And then he shared his dinner with me. That is no small thing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

fighting for her failth

That's what the headline read. It seems like only one faction if doing all the fighting. But there certainly are plenty of zealots. They say things about having jebus in your heart and like to save people by holding them under water.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


When an angry, black woman is yelling that she wants to shove a ball down your throat because you made a lousy call, does she really mean that she wants to kill you? Out of line, for sure, but threatening your life?

Monday, September 14, 2009

almost a hurricane party

An hour and a half after the Typhoon 8 was hoisted I left the office, figuring that I had better get the last bus home. There were very few souls to be seen in the usually bustling dinner hour as most stores were shut down- with the exception of the local pub. It was so packed that patrons were practically hanging out of the doorways and packing under the awnings that threatened to succumb to the rain load overhead.

Quite a few people had decided that upon being let out early they would stop by for a pint or two. Judging from the noise right now at midnight I hope for their sakes that number 8 lingers through the morning.

When I lived in Florida I heard about hurricane parties. That never seemed like a great idea, and after becoming certified in disaster management from the Red Cross I was too informed to be doing anything so risky. The closest I came to a hurricane party was during Hugo when several of my classmates and I all went to our friend Toby's house to spend the night due to the fact that most houses in Florida have a lot of glass and his had a den that did not contain any skylights/glass doors/floor to ceiling windows. It was one of the weirdest experiences of my life as we all lay in semi-darkness listening to howling wind, torrential rain, and breaking glass. The next day we emerged to find our town mostly intact but further South, the entire town of Homestead was gone.

My disaster management skills were not used until many years later when I went to New Orleans for the aftermath of Katrina. There was one too many unsavory details and I have since let the certification lapse. One day I may take up the mantle again but not yet.

Right now glass is breaking. I am imagining that all the little hanging signs that everyone forgets to take down and now crashing through a few windows.

I remember hearing in my class in Florida that flying garbage cans were a large cause of damage. I don't know if this is true but it would make sense. Whoever thinks to tie down the trash?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lion Rock Hike

We took the MTR to Wong Tai Sin and then walked up to the trail. On the way into the hills we passed what looked like a monastery nearby. There was not enough time to investigate but we were intrigued by how one side looked like it comprised of abandoned buildings and the active area of the monastery had moved to the side.

We heard that the hike was strenuous but I do not think so. It has some steep inclines but they are bearable and before long you are up in the clouds with beautiful views. Unlike with some other named rocks, this set did resemble a lion's head.

At the peak of the hike there looks to be a perilous drop as the cliff face is vertical down from your feet. SB tested the drop distance with a couple of rocks while I fought off my vertigo. An elderly man happened upon us and we struck up a conversation with him. He had been hiking this trail every week for the past 40 years. He no longer went all the way to the top as it was becoming a bit too steep for his comfort. He was amazed that we had managed the hike in the afternoon. We were amazed that he was amazed. He was easily older than both of our ages combined and somehow he thought we were the hardy ones!

As we descended into Kam Shan park SB and I ran into some Longtailed Macaques digging through an open dumpster. Garbage was strewn all about making the pavilions in the area seem less than inviting.

I would do this hike again in better weather.

On a side note- it was pointed out that throwing rocks in an area frequented by rock climbers is not a sensible thing to do. We wholeheartedly agree with this. SB had a clear view and he did look about for 15 minutes or so as he ate his sandwich and contemplated throwing the rock and we were certain that no one had braved the rain to climb below. I promise that no braining occurred.

Monday, September 7, 2009

things I do when I cannot sleep

I have mentioned my propensity for night crawling. Not one to be left out, SB met me outside of my office the other night so that he could take part in my wanderings. We had dinner at a dai pai dong and then set off into the nearby neighborhood. We came upon the older part of Wanchai and proceeded to poke around the homes. It was very quiet and slightly eerie with a mix of junk and relics littering the dimly lit streets. Due to lack of air conditioning, the homes were very open, with tall doors and windows thrown open so that the two of us could easily nose around and peek in.

I was taken with the tall ceilings, large openings, and porches of the old buildings and wondered how it might be to live there until some of my coworkers informed me that those homes don't have toilets or running water. Er, never mind. Suddenly the romance was dead.

But you must admit, these places have character! And I don't mean that character who is with me.

We managed to walk as far as Central before the heat was too much. As we were cooling down with cones of ice cream I caught this "bicycle" formed by two rings on a nearby pole.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

last rugby post for a while

I'm sure at least half of my readers are thrilled. I embedded a blog onto the website I have been working on for my rugby club so I shall dedicate most of my posts there. Unless I need to rant. Which will happen here, away from any representation of my club.

Last week a combination of the 1st division and 4th division teams played against the Royal Thai Navy. The ref said that we tied but we were pretty sure that they actually beat us by three points. You can find the writeup on the blog.

In the meantime I shall re-post the pictures.

Oh, and I shall take this last post to say that Australia pulled off a spectacular win against South Africa. I was not sure that SA would be beatable and Australia showed that not only were they beatable, but that the wheels can fall off the cart. It was a thrilling and well deserved victory. And thanks to Peter deVilliers I think Australia has risen over SA in my esteem.

Full of hot air

SB was vomiting a lot the other day and went home from work. He went to the doctor and was given a wide assortment of various multi-colored pills. The doctor mumbled something about stomach flu. On SB's discharge papers, the word "gastritis" was marked. "What the hell is gastritis anyway?" he asked me.

According to the experts at wikipedia gastritis is "an inflammation of the lining of the stomach, and has many possible causes," the most acute cause being excessive alcohol consumption.

So the doctor took one look at big white guy and diagnosed him with a drinking problem. Interesting since SB rarely drinks (he has gouty arthritis). If anything, I should have come down with it first. We went through the other possible causes of gastritis: weight loss surgery, chronic infections, autoimmune disease. Huh? Oh yeah, and another acute cause would be excessive use of anti-inflammatory drugs. I bet you can't guess what was among the baggie of pills given to SB. That's right, lots of ibuprofen.

Do these doctors get their licenses in the bottom of a bag of coco crunchies?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir

SB and I went for a short hike last weekend. A very short hike. Upon viewing the map we thought it looked like a moderate hike but it was over in less than an hour. We started by bussing to the Peak and poking around there. Then we went on the trail that begins as a road and descends quickly into Pok Fu Lam.

We saw a reservoir, we saw a youth equestrian school, we saw some streams, and then it was over.

We learned two things on this hike so overall it was a success.

1) Upon viewing the streams and reservoir we realized it was time to find fresh water to play in. But don't worry, we will try to avoid soaking ourselves in the water supply. I have researched a few possible fresh water bathing options in the New Territories.

2) There are some really, really strange insects that are attaching themselves to local trees along the dam.

There critters look quite menacing. They group together to form a protective carpet, looking like something in a sci-fi series. If you poke at them, one or two will rise up on its hind legs and attempt to strike. I am assuming that these things may be venomous. Possibly poisonous also. Doesn't that add quite the element of danger to our stroll?

After this, we ended up at the bus stop by the equestrian school (with very reasonable prices for the kids) and took a minibus to Stanley. We saw a couple of men out in the water on outrigger canoes. This aroused SB's interest so next week he shall be learning to outrigger with a very experienced racer. He needs another hobby like a hole in the head. An I am an enabler. "Sure, honey, it sounds like fun. Who needs rest time anyway?"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Everything Changes

My best friend had a baby last fall and now another member of our closely knit group has announced her pregnancy. I immediately congratulated her, and it was heartfelt, at least my feelings of happiness for her happiness. But once we ended our conversation I became depressed and even cried a few pitiful tears for myself. With two exceptions (one of whom is divorced) all of my girlfriends are married. Now they are reproducing and here I am, unmarried, childless, still pining for that dog that I have been waiting 20+ years for.

SB immediately came over and comforted me. Because that is who he is. He is oblivious and bumbling at times, but his efforts are to assure my happiness always. And so there he was comforting me because I was distraught that things were changing and everyone was growing up, including him, and I just wanted things to be "simple" so that I could always have fun and and spend time with the girls and not have any worries.

SB wants children but he wants me to be happy more. He has changed that way. He has matured into a man who is trustworthy and compassionate. I do not have any doubts about him. But when will I grow up?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

so cute that I could puke

These orphaned baby hedgehogs have been clinging to this stiff-bristled brush because it reminds them of their mother.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I don't even know where to begin...

Well, let us begin with my jaw dropping open at the idiocy that I read in today's SubStandard. I am not a Hillary fan but I cannot deny who she is: a determined, Wellesley/Yale educated attorney who co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families at the young age of 30, who had her own illustrious career before and after her husband became president. I mean, how dare she become irritated when some dude asks her what her husband thinks at her own Secretary of State press conference where they are discussing issues pertaining to the State.

Can you imagine Gordon Brown holding a press conference about British affairs and someone asking him what his wife thinks should be done?

For sure Hillary was only annoyed because she is a jealous shrew.

As my professor John Greer at Texas A&M would have said, this reporter is "not worth shooting." But his/her mother should have drowned him/her at an early age when she saw how many hot gases were being emitted by her young child.

Next, I shall discus my word of the day: misogyny. In the meantime, I post the article in all of it's gory:

Hillary flares at bright spark in darkest Africa

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So you think your wife can be brutal? Good thing you're not married to Hillary Clinton.

The US secretary of state showed a flash of public anger on her African trip after a student questioned her on the views of her husband, who is not with her on the tour.

At an open forum in the Congolese capital Kinshasa, a university student took the microphone to talk about the involvement of China and the World Bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"What does Mr Clinton think about it?" he asked.

A clearly annoyed Clinton put the hapless student in his place, asserting that she was the United States' top diplomat, not her husband. "You want to know what my husband thinks? My husband is not the secretary of state, I am. You ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I'm not going to channel my husband," Clinton snapped.

She was probably jealous of her husband - the former US president who has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since stepping down in 2001. But last week Bill Clinton stole the spotlight from America's top diplomat. He traveled to North Korea to negotiate the release of two detained US journalists, and was welcomed home a hero.

Monday, August 10, 2009

no sympathy

I cooked some spinach and ricotta ravioli, which I tossed with pesto for dinner. While my back was turned, SB managed to eat all of it. All of it.

When I asked him where my share of dinner was, he looked confused. "I thought you already had your dinner. I saw you eat it."

"Are you referring to the one delicious ravioli pillow I ate to see if it was al dente?" I asked.


Then he had the nerve to tell me that he felt a bit sick.

Because he ate too much.

Because he is like a goldfish and will eat until he explodes.

And don't even get me started on his amazing metabolism while I struggle to stay only slightly plump.

I had no sympathy for him even though he did look like he was going to vomit. I guess I can always go to 7-11 and get something on a stick. I hope dinner revisits him.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

tug of war

After several weeks at the beach, I have realized that this is for me. I would miss Happy Valley a lot if we move. It is the most convenient for my lifestyle. I am within 15 minutes of my job, my rugby training pitch, three game pitches, the lacrosse matches, etc. But I love it here. I swim almost every day. I sit on the roof every evening and gaze into the ocean. I can wear the most informal clothing and no one notices. Did I mention the wonders of the beach?

SB is my single obstacle. He has two reasons for not wanting to move. He is uncomfortable with living somewhere for the first time in over a decade where food is not immediately accessible at all times. The last shop closes here between 11pm and midnight, and that is too early for him. His second objection is the lack of air conditioned facilities. The restaurants are mostly open, though shaded. I think that this is a more valid objection than the first.

So SB and I are at a deadlock. He needs to convince me that convenience and cooling trump natural living. I need to show him that this is a better lifestyle than Happy Valley.

Who will win?

Monday, July 6, 2009

a whole new day

Lately I have been growing more and more restless with the way things are. I still love my job but hate the 60+ hours and no overtime pay. It was depressing to think of what my salary really was if broken down to hourly pay.

Because I work so much, my spare time has become very precious. I cherish my weekends and have become almost violently angry when my boss has told me to come in on Saturday, especially when it could have been avoided with better time management.

The change in my free time has got me looking critically at SB and my little shoebox in the valley. I like the shoebox a lot. There are a lot of things going for it; it is wonderfully conveniently located so that I have only 10 minutes of a bus ride from the office, 25 minutes to walk to the office, 20 minutes to walk to rugby training, and five minutes to stroll to the track for a jog. There are a lot of tasty food options here and we have a friendly relationship with quite a few people whose businesses we frequent. We need walk only a few blocks on weekends before running into a friend, albeit a friend who is an athlete. Almost all the people we meet are those who play sports like us.

So here is the dilemma. I am unhappy with our immediate surroundings. When I look out of any of our abundant windows, all I see is concrete. We hardly ever have the blinds open anymore because there is no direct sunlight to bask in and no view of anything blue or green. I can only look out into someone else's flat. I tried to make up for this by amassing a very large collection of plants. But reality is setting in. I need more nature in my life. Sure, I hardly get to enjoy any daylight with my work schedule, but when I go home, I feel like I cannot unwind. I can only walk in circles around Happy Valley's sports ground so many times before it gets old.

SB and I are making a huge change this month. We are subletting a flat in Shek O. I am going to see how feasible it is to live at the other side of the island in a village on a beach, and still work the hours that I do. The commute will be longer than I would like, possibly taking a full hour, but we are going to try it out. I am not optimistic but I do want it to work out. Otherwise I don't know what I am going to do about this longing for green things.

As I was packing up a bag I looked around the Happy Valley flat and felt sad. There is so much about this place that I love and if I do leave, I will leave behind casual friends and neighbors that I have enjoyed during my time here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

To know stuff is a bad thing

“To know stuff is a bad thing,” she told Lebowitz. “It has consequences, and the consequences are death.”

In response to the banning of her novel, Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison helped launch the Free Speech Leadership Council. Of literacy, she said: "[it is] the route out of any oppression, any limitation."

Here is a conversation between Morrison and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC).

Thursday, July 2, 2009

thanks, honey

My father once told me of my grandmother that if she didn't want to do something, she would eff it up so badly that you never asked her twice. She indirectly contributed to my development as a home economics superstar. My father used to ask her to mend his clothing. She mangled a pair of pants so badly that soon after, my sewing skills were given a boost when I got my own little sewing machine. My grandmother used to like baking pies for my father. Then she churned out some seriously bad baked goods and my father got the hint. My mother never mastered pie crust making but I did and now I bake the annual holiday pies when I go to visit my parents.

If I didn't know better I would suspect that SB takes after my grandmother. Recently I asked SB to run the laundry for me. I had placed some light colored shirts in the washing machine for a delicate wash cycle. Still having room in the load, I decided to go ahead and throw in some of my more delicate underthings. I did not run the laundry that night because it was getting late and I didn't want to risk disturbing the neighbors. I only remembered my laundry while heading to work so I called SB and asked him to run the wash. All he needed to do was turn on the power.

When I got home later that evening, I pulled out my wash to discover that everything looked really, really filthy. Had it mildewed in the time that it had been sitting there? My lovely shirts and all of my underwear were a strange, dishwater grey color. Only when I pulled out everything did I discover a dark colored towel that I was fairly certain that I would never have thrown in the wash. Ah yes Mr. Domestic had decided to be even more energy efficient and had seen that there was room for one more article of clothing in the washing machine. When confronted, he insisted that they were more of a lavender color. And besides, he reasoned, who would see my underwear anyway? "It's summer," I informed him, "I will be wearing a lot of tank tops and bra straps do occasionally get exposed." It would be mortifying if someone saw a dirty looking bra strap on me. He rolled his eyes at this.

Mr. Domestic outdid himself with his next task. Words pale in comparison to the vision of his latest laundry endeavor.

Do you notice anything odd about our freshly laundered pillow covers? Me neither!

I hear that my vertigo meds are also prescribed to treat anxiety disorders.

"It's just a tiny bit shrunken."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

mom is the word

SB and I talk about everything together, almost all the time, with seemingly nonstop banter. I can hardly think of anything that I was unwilling to chat about with him. Except one thing. Babies.

We have talked about how proud he is of his large bladder and apparently impressive bowel movements (I have declined invitations to verify this), personal hygiene beliefs, things we may try and things we will never try, feeeeelings, politics, religion, you name it.

Then last night before bed he very casually mentioned to me that he was surprised that we never discussed kids. Immediately the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. "Oh?" I asked, knowing quite well that this was true, "actually, we have briefly discussed it."

Sometime at the three month mark of our relationship it had become obvious to the two of us that the relationship was going somewhere. I had just let those three words fall out of my mouth to discover that he had felt those three words strongly within weeks of us getting together but had kept it inside because of the ludicrously short amount of time that we had been together. At this point we started talking more about our hopes and plans for the future- not our future together, but more like conversations to see if we were heading in the right direction. After discovering complimentary ideologies on life, death, and almost everything in between I treaded lightly into the shallow end of the baby pool.

I hesitantly told SB that I was undecided about children. He agreed that he was also and that was all I needed to hear. I moved on at lightning speed. As it turns out, both of us were only partially honest about our feelings, which is why this has been the one topic that neither of us has brought up. The fact is that I am more than undecided about children.

When I was 20 or so years old I was part of a group of over 200 students in a lecture hall who were asked to share how many children we thought we were going/wanting to have. There were a lot of hands raised for one child, more for two, some for three, a few for four, and still more hands raised for students who imagined having five or more children. There were only two hands raised for zero. I was one of the zeros. The surveyor told us that it was highly probable that how we felt at our young ages about children was going to remain throughout our lives. My classmates who have gotten around to reproducing have gone on to have the number of children that they said they would. I have continued to have none.

I tried to explain my feelings to SB in story form. When I was a teenager my older cousin was discussing with my aunt and uncle about her husband's desire for children and her reluctance at such a young age. Afterward, during the car ride home, I was deep in thought. Finally my uncle asked me what was on my mind. "What if I have children and they're stupid?" I asked. "I wouldn't mind if I had a disabled child but what if my child was just dumb? I would hate that."

Yes folks, that is what I thought about babies at the age where most young teenage women are starting to make their parents nervous. My family never had to worry about me getting knocked up young. I was well aware of the dire consequences: stupid children having stupider children.

My uncle assured me that this was highly unlikely because I would most likely choose a mate who was similarly intelligent and our chances of reproducing a similar child were good. SB would be a good choice for reproduction. But I did finally confess to him that unless he initiates the baby production process, there will be no small people. I adore him and adore my life with him and am completely happy to continue in this holding pattern. At the same time I have searched my soul and know that if he desires, then I will not feel burdened at all to have offspring with him. I do think that those little people are awfully cute, especially when they start developing personalities. I just also don't know that what the world needs are more people.

SB, on the other hand, claimed indifference, but what he really meant was not now. He always imagined a couple of rugrats somewhere in his future. I am nervous of why he wants to talk now but at least he's okay with my ambivalence and I am not being asked to consider a quintet.

He has been warned that this will not be a fast agreement. It will take negotiation before I agree to anything, six months advance notice at least. And we would probably have to make our relationship legal because my father would kill him otherwise. And that would take a few more months. As I am looking at it, I have at least a year to digest the idea of carrying a parasite, er I mean lovely little fetus, I mean baby before it becomes a reality.

in living color

After a few stumbles here and there I finally broke down and was admitted into the lala hall of fame. You don't know what a lala is? Well let me tell you.

A lala is a term used by several generations of men in my paternal family to describe several generations of women. My aunt and my grandmother and her mother have on various occasions been accused of being nuts. Loony. Bonkers. You see, in my father's side of the family, the women were all a bit off. They fell over for no reason and were prone to dizziness and goofiness. My family tried to get my grandmother checked out but no one could ever agree on what was wrong with her. Actually, she was a bit of a drama queen and had always been so most likely she tended to add on symptoms of her lala-ness so that everyone trying to help was thwarted. Then she could go one being a martyr of the lala gene that was cursing the women in the family.

My Aunt Jane always believed that her mother was making all her ailments up until one day when she was in her mid thirties she fell over while jogging for no apparent reason. A few weeks later it happened again. Months later she was at the office when all of a sudden she became very dizzy and proceeded to project her formerly consumed breakfast all over her desk and floor. A few days later she had a word that was synonymous for lala: vertigo.

Like my aunt and grandmother, I have inherited the lala gene. Every so often I fall over, usually when exercising. When SB and I first started dating, I remember that we walked across the (in)famous Cornell suspension bridge together, like I often did on my way home. SB, being a kid trapped in a man's body, immediately began bouncing up and down on the bridge. As it swayed dangerously, I decided that it was a good time to tell him that I suffered from vertigo. SB, having only experienced vertigo as a movie, took that to mean that I would transform into a hot, blonde woman. I'm sure he was disappointed when all I did was turn into a green, pale woman and spend the rest of the day in bed with the blinds closed.

Recently I have changed medication. My doctor suspects that I do not have vertigo but actually something called epileptic vertigo. This doctor honed in on the fact that I fall for no reason and suspects that I may be having partial seizures. I am on a new medication and I have had no falls or lala least during the day.

I have been experiencing the most bizarre dreams. I recently dreamed that I was a psychotic murderer, or at least an attempted murderer. For the entirety of the dream I was trying to kill someone but all my attempts ended in incompetence or futility. I was possibly the worst would be killer ever.

I also had a dream where I had morphed into a shopaholic. I was running from store to store, frantically trying to buy clothing for no apparent reason. At some point in the dream I thought to myself that this was ludicrous because I hate shopping and always have. Even my love of shoes cannot overcome my hatred of stores and until moving to HK, I bought almost everything online. So at some point I said to myself, "I must be dreaming because this is unbelievable," and then I woke up.

My most recent dream was that I cheated on SB with the ex who I dislike. I have no logical explanation for why I was with this guy back when we were dating and a year after we broke up I had to finally ask my friends to stop making fun of me for dating him. But in the dream I was all about hooking up with this character. When I woke up, even though I knew it was just a dream, I was disgusted at myself for having dreamt about him and couldn't look SB in the eye. I felt horribly guilty and irritated at my lapse in judgement and sanity.

I feel goofy about going to my doctor and telling her that the meds may be causing nightmares but I don't think that I want this to continue. I have enough wild dreams without the meds.

Friday, June 26, 2009

local picture of the day


SB, while filling out a UK diversity survey, complained to me about the questions. "They are having me check off like, a hundred categories of discrimination and promise current and future discrimination training. Religious beliefs, sexuality, equality promises, monitoring and effective learning, monitoring of service profile, evidence of equality in recruitment, literature, outreach, etc....under-represented and hard to reach groups, institutional racism..."

And the kicker: "This survey question groups together pregnant and transgendered individuals."

My response: "Well, they both contain another person just waiting to come out."

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Neda is my Daughter"

Reposted from Jezebel:

On Saturday, "Neda", a young Iranian woman watching the protests in Tehran, was allegedly shot by a Basij, dying in her father's arms. It was captured on video.

There are more than a few of us out there who think of June 4th. Have we learned anything?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


SB had a dream last night that he was somewhere in Arizona, but didn't know why. Hmmm... my parents live part of the year in Tucson.

Anyway, while arguing with a group of people that were creating salt from a very long process that used up a lot of spring water, he saw David Lee Roth. SB told Mr. Roth that his 1981 live in Oakland version of Unchained was the most "rocking song ever." I am not sure if he really feels this way, but it is at least worthy of praise.

Then SB stumbled upon a tray of cupcakes and ate them all.

What a nice dream, he thought.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

foxy lady

I can relate to this.

A fox in Föhren, Germany has been caught stealing shoes, over 120 in fact. She was found out when a forestry worker came upon her lair and found out her shoe fetish. She has been dubbed Imelda. I understand.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

well said

"For the extremists who believe my father is a hero: it is imperative you understand what he did was an act of cowardice. To physically force your beliefs onto others with violence is not brave, but bullying. Doing so only serves to prove how weak those beliefs are. It is simply desperation, reminiscent of a temper tantrum when a child cannot get his way. Violence is a cop out; an easy answer for an ignorant problem."

These were the words spoken by Erik von Brunn in reaction to news that his father had killed a black museum guard at the Holocaust Museum. I take this to heart and hope that others consider that committing violent crimes against law abiding citizens in order to strike fear into the hearts of others is nothing less than domestic terrorism. James von Brunn used his "beliefs" as a justification for his horrendous crime, and so did Scott Roeder.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

a new pleasure

As a punk rock kid, I have no right to point and laugh, but I did. And I am passing on this new guilty pleasure brought to my attention by Jezebel:

Introducing Goths in Hot Weather

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

a helping hand

Over the time that I have been in HK I have been adamant that we are not getting a maid. Although my family did have maids when my sister and I were little, our mother stopped employing domestic helpers when we were old enough to look after ourselves. Since then I have been very proud of my self sufficiency. I could cook by the time I was 12. I began working part time when I was 16 because I got into a car accident and my parents believed that I should take care of the repair costs. Aside from learning about responsibility and stewardship of the family car, I discovered that I enjoyed the financial independence of having a job and I continued my job until I was 18 and went to university. I have also lived by myself since the end of my freshman year of uni. But this is what I arrived home to after only six days away:

Seriously, a jock strap hanging to dry on our dining room chairs?! Oh, and he was sent straight to the groomers, too. He went rather willingly after I made it clear that no nookie was going to happen with that helmet on his head and dead animal glued to his chin.

So now I am starting to come around to having a maid. With my 60+ hour work weeks I just don't have the energy to take on domestic work also.

SB saw the look of defeat on my face and quickly got around to looking for helper advice online. He also came across an interesting article about domestic worker abuse in Hong Kong. He read aloud one of the responses to the article to me, in which the author basically said that he didn't see why helper abuse was even being touched upon since there were far more compelling issues to report on. And besides, it was hardly happening in HK. This author shared that he gave his worker the FULL minimum amount of days off. Oh, gee. How awfully generous of you to give your helper the minimum amount of relief required by law and then pat yourself on the back for it. It made me wonder what the helper's days would have looked like if this generous individual did not have the law instructing him to let her take a few days off. Anyone slightly less indulgent than Mr. Generous and his minimum required relief would then be unlawful, now wouldn't he?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

but really...

How much trouble can he really get into while I'm away?

flying away

I am going to Vietnam tomorrow to attend a conference on architecture, density, and sustainability. I am very excited with the speaker lineup.

I have told SB to stay away from the Metropark Hotel. Although I have heard that some of his mates prefer the Southorn Playground facilities.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Eddy Gate

Eddy Gate used to be the main entrance to Cornell, situated before one crossed over the Cascadilla gorge. I had the rare experience of entering Cornell through this gate every day in my first year because I lived nearby. I have mentioned before that I found it interesting that Cornell's physical features match the educational reputation perfectly (and I'm not referring to the jumpers). There was little that was more intimidating yet exhilarating than having your first glimpse of this venerable school achieved by first trudging up a very steep hill, entering through an imposing gate, crossing over a beautiful and deep gorge, crossing the campus to the original arts quad, and discovering that the architecture building was the white domed masonry structure perched across the arts quad on the other gorge that flanked the university.

Eddy Gate has an inscription that I read over and over again. It reminded me to be better than I was.

So enter
that daily thou mayest become
more learned and thoughtful.

So depart
that daily thou mayest become
more useful to thy country and
to mankind.