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.