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?