Monday, August 31, 2009
I learned how to start an interesting conversation. I learned how to gage someone else's interest level. I learned how to appropriately offer to pay the tab.
But the one thing I never learned was how to gracefully break up with someone.
I either got dumped (sometimes gracefully...sometimes not) or just stopped calling someone. I never once sat down and told someone that I liked them, I just didn't LIKE LIKE them.
And it's really too bad because in life, I've found, there are tons of times where this skill would come in useful. The ability to tactfully express displeasure....not in my bag of tricks. Put in this situation I find myself jumping from being too blunt to wanting to tell white lies to smooth over the rough edges and keep myself from feeling bad. And I know neither are the right, mature, open thing to do.
So I ask the ear doctor to do it for me.
Mental note: husbands are there to lift you up to a higher plane. To stretch you out and help you become a taller, stronger person. They are not, as I've been using mine, a crutch to lean on, thereby developing scoliosis and becoming a withered old hag.
Friday, August 28, 2009
After our wedded union I found that the first thought that entered my mind after our apartment door shut behind me was, "will I ever see him again?" or "what will I do if he dies today?" or "is my number his emergency contact in his cell phone...just in case the EMTs need to call me quickly."
Cheery, I know.
And I think it was because I knew that we were in this life together, for the long haul.
Which is probably why as I drove down to Chipotle for lunch today I wasn't really annoyed at the throngs of people slowing the flow of traffic to a pathetic ebb. They were dressed head to toe in pink, walking for courage, walking for strength, walking for people affected by breast cancer. Some were in tutus and most had bright pink energizer bunny ears on their heads. And seeing how happy and motivated these people were made me smile from ear to ear.
Until the portly fellow walking all alone passed by my front bumper carrying a flag that he'd made that read, "in loving memory of my wife."
It gripped me.
Even as I pulled up to the restaurant and stood in line it had me thinking about grief and loss. A bit emotional, I placed my order for my delicious chicken burrito and waited. The young guy in front of me spoke Spanish to the cashier, and, as a result earned himself a free soda.
It was just too much for my little heart to take.
Not only was I terrified and filled with grief at the thought of loosing my ear doctor, but annoyed that if he'd been there to spout off my order in his perfect fluent Spanish I'd be getting my diet coke for FREE today.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
And I hope that my hip, awesome blog friends won't think I'm too lame, but I'm here today to share two of my particular adorations that have really shocked the ear doctor in the past couple months.
First? X-men movies.
You read that right...I love em. Every single time one of them is airing on FX or TBS I curl up under a blanket and indulge in my guilty pleasure.
Second? Love-sick power ballads by Chicago. I know, I know, I wish I was hip enough to be able to roll my eyes and the cheesy cliche-ness of their lyrics or utter predictability of their chord progressions, but I just can't. Something about pining for someone to stay the night or declaring that they are my inspiration just really cuts clear to the core of my soul.
So there you have it, two of my totally nerdy, unhip, dorky, never-going-to-make-me elected prom queen loves.
Anyone care to share their own?
Monday, August 24, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
We then looked around the house and noticed that these stains were EVERYWHERE. All through the living room, all down the hallway, all over my beautiful green rug. All OVER!
As luck would have it our little Roscoe dog had a cut on his right front paw and he was gingerly spreading little blood stains all over the house. Gross. We bandaged up his paw the best we could and decided that the clean up job would have to wait until the next day.
We've been wanting to rent one of those steam cleaners for our carpet for months now and the ear doctor declared that Monday would be carpet cleaning day.
So, yesterday afternoon he dutifully went over to the supermarket to see about renting a cleaner. Now, you probably don't know this, but my husband is a little bit fanatical about stains. He treats their removal with mythical faith. Spray 'n wash is his stain removing shaman, Shout his spot bustin swami, and Oxi-clean his grime removal guru. He will try any product under the sun if it promises results. And he FOLLOWS THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE LABEL.
And since the label on the steam cleaner said it would only remove bio-related stains and not specifically blood stains he decided that he'd clean each blood spot....individually...by hand...while crouching on his hands and knees.
He does nothing half way.
So yesterday my husband spent a few painfully hot and sweaty hours scrubbing about a thousand little spots out of our rental carpet with only a rag and a squirt bottle. Because, well, that's the kind of guy he is.
He's the kind of guy who will do the crap jobs because they've got to get done.
That's the kind of person you want around to help you through this life.
Monday, August 17, 2009
She is so perfectly located, and fits us to a T. I stood out on that front porch in the middle of a rainstorm yesterday afternoon and felt a sense of calm settle over me.
But I'm not about to lie to you and say she's perfect. The kitchen is tiny, there isn't a spec of counter space. The previous owners painted over wallpaper in both living and dining room and "finished" the upper floor with particle board instead of sheet rock. The back yard has weeds up to my shoulders and the only bathroom is on the main floor while the master bedroom is upstairs.
But, just take a look at that window! Lovely!
Friday, August 14, 2009
There's a moment in Julie and Julia where she gets her first blog comment and she's so excited she stands up and high fives the woman who works in the neighboring cube.
I loved this moment.
And although I really related to the thrill of getting a new comment from a new reader that isn't what has stuck with me. It's the work friend relationship.
Since moving to this new job that is what I've missed the most. My work friends. I walk down the long hallways thinking of funny things to tell my old work friends or funny pranks to play on them and then I come to the sobering realization that I don't have them anymore.
It's quite a sad thing to loose people who played such a constant role in my daily life.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
We've been pretty fast bloggie friends for, oh, I don't even know how long, so I was really excited with TRS agreed to answer my questions. Need a new and interesting perspective to read? Check out Single Solitary Things!
TRS asked: I’m so impressed with your vow to buy no new clothes all summer (until your birthday money arrived!) That goal is certainly in keeping with your other budgeting skills. Are these mad budgeting skills learned from your parents or has that developed as a part of your marriage? I think it’s a fair assumption that you and the ED created your budget together and agreed to the same goals, any conflicts in spending/saving habits? Related to that question – what is your favorite indulgence? (I’m guessing it has to do with the kitchen.)
Katie answered: My parents never formally taught my sister and I any strict budgeting skills. That being said, there are two financial lessons that my parents instilled in us. The first, we tithe. We donate 10% of all our income to our church...which is how our church builds so many temples, prints so many books of Mormon, response to so many worldwide natural disasters and feeds the homeless/poor. Second...my parents do not use credit cards. I remember when I was about 7 my mom chopped up all their cards and let us put them together like puzzle pieces.
Since getting married the ear doctor and I got serious about item by item, line by line budgeting. We read Dave Ramsey and it established our financial planning/budgeting mindset. I will forever be grateful to the person who gave us his book as a wedding gift. It aligned our thoughts about money before it had a chance to become a wedge between us. Seriously, I think every newlywed should read the book and have an open discussion about money. It's so important to get on the same track with that.
My most frequent indulgence? Probably going out to lunch or buying expensive ingredients at the market (cheese, glorious cheese).
My most desired indulgence? Clothes. Sweet glory I get a slightly unhealthy joy from buying new clothes.
TRS asked: Your career is enviable! From reading you all these years, I sense you are an engineer through and through, down to the activities you enjoyed as a kid. As a person who writes for a living (when someone feels like paying me) I am also envious of your creativity and writing skills. How do you account for being so talented on both sides of your brain?
Katie answered: Well, thanks for the compliment! That's so nice of you!
I think I'd have to credit my parents for that one for getting me in violin lessons. Learning classical music is probably one of the best ways to breed creativity and discipline.
And, well, personally, I don't think that engineering is far at all from any of the other creative activities I enjoy. Without creativity and engineer is reduced to a breathing calculator. Not very handy for making anything new.
TRS asked: You and the ED seem to be so very well matched. Every marriage should be so blessed. So which of the ED’s many wonderful qualities do you love most? Or that you think complements you best/is most unique to your marriage?
Katie answered: You nailed it here. The ear doctor and I are a really great match. When I first met him I was a little blown away by how much we had in common. However, I think it is our differences that really play off each other. He is calm, rational, and deliberate. I can be emotional and kind of random. He is much better at communicating how he feels. I would rather just move on and get over something than talk it out. He is kind of loose with his money and I know where every single penny is.
It's the combination between our strengths and weaknesses that makes it really work.
Katie asked: If you could try any other profession in the world for a month, what would you choose?
TRS answered: Wow… that’s such a timely question – as I find myself facing yet another layoff!
Since it’s so hard to find and keep work in my field (Broadcasting/Journalism) I’ve been pondering that quite a bit lately – I really should think about a new career!
If I could afford another college degree, and if I didn’t hate school so much, I’ve thought about going back for Physical Therapy, or Massage Therapy. Those seem like practical choices with which I could help people and feel fulfilled. Considering how much I LOVE my chiropractor – I’ve entertained thoughts of studying that myself. Staying in the creative field, I’d like to start my own photography business. And these days I’m really intrigued by graphics design all the way down to the beautiful art of letterpress.
Your question however suggests a realm of fantasy – maybe something that isn’t as practical, not so attainable. In my younger years I wanted very badly to be a performer of some sort – but I have no musical talent and the fact that I’m not drop-dead gorgeous cut my acting career short. (I scored the comic relief roles in our High School plays – wise cracking maid, that sort of thing.) I’ve always secretly wanted to be an actress… not for fame, but because it seems like such a great way to try on many hats. One acting job might allow me to be a doctor, another – the owner of some darling shop in Seattle or San Francisco – or an FBI agent, a toll booth operator. What a great way to try a little bit of everything!! But I’d have to do it for more than a month I think!
Katie asked: Being a religious person yourself, do you find yourself attracted (not romantically) to other people more when you find out that they are themselves a practicing participant in another faith?
TRS answered: I do find faith intriguing so I am interested in other religions’ view on things. Some people might view it otherwise, but I think I’m pretty open-minded and accepting of everyone. I have two friends who are Atheist and Jewish, respectively. We quickly realized that we are the real-life version of that standard vaudeville joke… “An Atheist, a Catholic and a Jew walk into a bar…” So we call our outings together ‘joke night’. What’s interesting is, every time we get together to catch up, our conversations always land on faith at some point in the evening. We tease one another, we challenge each other and we enlighten one another as well. We are always respectful of the other’s beliefs while expressing our own. We have much more in common than not.
I try to treat everyone that same way – respecting what they believe by learning more about it.
You are right, I am more interested in people of faith than in those who view faith as superstition, who think God is a scapegoat and that the bible is a fairy tale. Not that I dismiss those people, but typically, I just don’t find as much in common with them. My faith defines everything that I know is right and true and meaningful in this world. So it stands to reason that I wouldn’t be able to relate to someone who dismisses faith altogether – or them to me. I recognize that I could do better to work on my evangelism, but I just don’t find that to be my style.
Alternatively, my Atheist friend is intrigued by faith, and has actually studied more about ALL religions than the most schooled Christian. With him, I can have intelligent conversations about faith and discuss the areas where we conflict in opinion. We both learn something, and that’s a beautiful thing.
I feel so sorry for people who weren’t brought up in the faith of God. I think they are really missing out. I’m annoyed most by people who think they are enlightened because they DON’T believe. Dated some of those – and now I only date Catholics!
Katie asked: Do you have anything you've kept from your own childhood that you intend to give to your own children one day? What is it? Why did you keep it?
TRS asked: Ooh, that’s almost a sore spot, because I saved everything – and still no kids at age 39! My sister used to call me a pack rat. I intended to save clothes – special outfits, (my Winnie the Pooh dress printed with the map of Hundred Acre Woods) all my Fisher Price Little People (we had the castle, the parking garage, and the house boat), my Barbies, my Tree Tots Family Tree House! I really think the toys and accessories that I had growing up were the best. High quality… well-made and unique. Those dippy-looking new Fisher Price Little People bug me. I don’t know of anyone who choked on the old ones!
I don’t recalling having any one toy that was extra special to me. I was a sort of utilitarian kid – I’ve always appreciated usefulness. The one thing I always hoped to hand down to my children one day, was my double-sided chalk board easel. It really was wonderful. Height adjustable… two big blue chalkboards (when you’re little that much free space seemed HUGE!), sturdy wood construction sporting two shelves spanning the base of the easel to hold paper, paints, chalk, and all my other art and creative supplies! It came with huge metal clips to attach paper for painting. I loved it! I’m sure my mom would tell you I spent hours and hours before my chalkboards – drawing, painting, and pretending.
Even when I was nine or ten years old, I formulated a plan to pass it down to my kids. (as I always expected to have some) When I outgrew it, my parents put it into storage in one of the outbuildings on our farm. That building has since been torn down – and my older brother (who now runs the farm) is ruthless about getting rid of ‘junk’ - I’ve never dared ask what happened to it.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Here is what I thought of the movie....AWESOME.
There's moment when Julie drops a stuffed chicken on the floor. The stuffing explodes out and she just melts into a ball of hysteria. She just can't take the utter despair associated with the culinary calamity. The same exact thing may or may not have happened to me a few weeks ago when, in mid-flip from cooling rack to presentation plate, my flourless chocolate cake ripped into 5 ugly pieces.
Turns out food induced disappointment has no bottom limit.
At the end of watching the movie I felt so excited, empowered and inspired. I felt that I wanted to really accomplish something in my life...not just fill my time.
And I couldn't think of a grandiose direction to follow or amazing goal to set. So I decided to make Julia Child's ratatouille.
I'd never tried it and Disney has tried it's best to convince me that it is wonderful. But guess what. Do you have any idea how many green peppers are in ratatouille? A ga-zillion. And did you know my most hated and absolutely despised food on planet earth? Yup...those nasty green suckers.
As I chopped...and chopped...and chopped I kept looking at the ominous green pile building higher and higher. Surely there was no way this would taste good, right? No way. And I do not have Julie Powell's blind faith in Julia Child's cooking.
After hours of tedious work I stared down at my plate of colorful tender vegetables. I was dubious at best. But guess what....it was amazing. Somehow the flavors of all those ripe summer vegetables melded into a flavor I slurped up with the glee of a kid eating her birthday cake.
And now I know what my direction will be. Take life as the sum of it's parts. Sure sometimes it may seem like a whole pile of green peppers are headed my way but if I chop them up, let them saute until soft, cover them in onions, tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini, and then let them steep in their own juices it'll all come together in the end.
Either that, or I'll get to the end and it'll totally disappoint me by fracturing into a few ugly unusable pieces.
Hmmmm...maybe I should be careful about using cooking metaphors for life...?
Monday, August 10, 2009
He said that he couldn't stand the way I never said "bless you" after he sneezed and my clumsy habit of not closing the kitchen cabinets had driven a wedge in his heart. He was leaving at there was nothing I could do.
He just sat there.
As the grief induced anger bubbled up from my the depths of my crushed heart the stinging insults flew from my lips. "I never loved you either" was quickly followed by "oh God, please don't let him leave me"
And then I woke up....but the pain was real. The neural chemicals that created such a horrible nightmare had actually been secreted and so I couldn't stop myself. At 6:03 on a Saturday morning I laid in bed, surrounded by the confused yet comforting arms of my husband and sobbed. I gasped with deep, soul raking breaths. I was reminded what true and utter rejection felt like.
And I realized again how much I love my husband. How much I need him. How perfect he is for me.
Thanks a lot Zooey Deschanel ...
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Then, the karaoke came out and every single little girl knew EVERY word to EVERY song they played...and I hadn't heard a single one?!?! How can that be possible. I actually have a certain talent when it comes to learning song lyrics..and yet? Nothing!
It turned out I was too old to know any Hannah Montana and too young to have my own little girl swept into this pop culture craze.
Have you ever been in this kind of situation? The kind where you are merrily bopping along, thinking that you have a pretty good handle on things, assuming that you've pretty much figured out what's going on around you? You feel decently "hip."
...suddenly something happens and you're just dumbfounded to realize how wrong you were?
You've been missing out.
Well, it happened to me AGAIN last night. Have you heard of this awesome Amazon.com ratings/product review phenomenon? Turns out people are posting hilariously awesome product reviews on some items on amazon. They had me laughing so hard that I actually cried and FELL OUT OF MY CHAIR.
Do yourself a favor, click THIS LINK, scroll down to the bottom of the page to the product reviews and enjoy.
It's WAY better than learning the lyrics to Hannah Montana...I promise.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
So, we all know that there are TONS of wedding blogs out there right? Don't they all kind of seem the same? Don't get me wrong...I like looking over pics of a fantastic event as much as the next girl, but a lot of them are missing something. Something real, personal, funny, unique.
Which is exactly why I've been enjoying Mo's blog Pink Argyle so much. She's a real girl planning a real wedding. And she's awesome!
Mo asked: What's the most ridiculous thing you've seen/read in your unfortunate new subscription to Glamour magazine? Visuals would be appreciated.
Katie answered: UGH! I kept waiting and waiting for my next issue to come so that I could answer this for you, but it never did. I guess someone over there at Glamour is reading my blog, got mad at me for not liking Taylor Swift and cancelled my subscription.
Mo asked: We already know about your obsession with the chocolate-covered almonds. Heck, those babies are sitting on our kitchen counter too! But aside from the almonds, what is the absolute BEST thing you have ever eaten?
Katie answered: I've had so many amazing meals in my life. But the thing that makes one item of food stand out over another is usually the circumstance surrounding consumption. For example:
One time I was on a Horizon flight. I was alone, motion sick, cold, hungry, grouchy and pretty much a big ole mess. I didn't think life could get more uncomfortable. Then, the flight attendants started passing out these warm ham sandwiches with spicy mustard on pretzel bread and I thought I was going to die they were so good. A small tear of joy leaked out of the corner of my eye and the gratitude that filled my soul was so rich and sincere that the memory has burned itself on my brain.
Mo asked: Take us through your perfect day, starting with where you wake up.
Katie answered: I wake up in a big fluffy bed with the ear doctor inside a magic mountain cabin. The linens are all crisp white and the long billowing drapes at the window are calmly waving in an alpine breeze. Someone has just pulled a pan of hot, sticky Cinnamon rolls out of the oven and they're finishing frying up some bacon. Sunlight is brightly beaming down through a high window. We spend a few minutes laughing at some funny dream he's had.
Our little dog Roscoe jumps up and puts his paws on the edge of my bed and nuzzles his face in my hand. He is clean and happy because someone else took him out to poop and got him groomed for us.
I get up, eat, and shower and put on the cutest most perfect outfit I've ever owned. It fits perfectly and makes me feel like a million bucks. My hair is magically dried and styled without me having to lift a hair dryer or brush.
Together, we take off. Right outside our cabin door is a path leading up to a lake. The three of us walk up the path were a fantastic lunch spread has been laid out on a blanket. There is Italian meats and olives and cheese and stuffed dates and pecan crusted cookies and diet coke and Italian sodas and piping hot pizza and mini hamburgers and macaroni and cheese and fried chicken. What's more is that anything we think of that is missing magically appears for us to taste. We never get full and carbs and calories don't exist. In this meadow, Roscoe doesn't need a leash because he behaves perfectly...coming when called every time. We sit there in that meadow laughing and eating and hiking around.
As the afternoon wanes we walk back to the cabin. Now the cabin has transformed from a cozy 2 person chalet to a large, expansive retreat. All of our family members are there and most of our friends. We all eat a big catered dinner together and after the meal there is a fantastic talent show. Each person gets up to perform and they are all wonderful entertainers!
As night wears on a band starts to play and we all start dancing out under the stars. It's the happiest night anyone has ever had and we all got to experience it together.
Katie asked: What is your favorite book and why? And if you can’t think of one you can give me top 3.
Mo answered: I like being difficult--how about top 2?
We'll start with my favorite book for adults. One of the elements of blogging that I started paying closer attention to is the writer's voice and how authentic it sounds. That's probably one of the main reasons why I'm so in love with A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. Dave Eggers has a smart, unique, funny, and honest voice that makes for great storytelling. I'm also biased because his story is mainly set in the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly Berkeley, which is where I went to school and where most of my family lives.
My favorite children's book is Matilda by Roald Dahl. I still have the copy my mother bought me when I was in the fifth grade, and it has a panda bear bookplate in the front with my name scrawled in purple marker. Some things never change.
What I really like about Matilda is that she's such a strong, incredibly smart heroine. I wished that I was just like her. Another one of my favorites was Harriet the Spy, for the same reason. I wanted to be a writer when I was little, so I decided to keep a journal just like Harriet. Unfortunately when you grow up in rural California, nothing much is going on. "Saw Jack Rabbit. It ran away up the road. Really hot today, my Popsicle melted on my hand."
Whoops, I cheated, that was 3 books wasn't it?
Katie asked: I recently heard a factoid on the radio that the most common inter-racial couple combo is an Asian female and a Caucasian Male. I was surprised and thought it was interesting. As a Chinese-American woman, do you find that interesting? Do you have any perspective on it that you’d like to share?
Mo answered: Ha! Oh Katie. I'll try and answer this question without boring your readers and regurgitating what I learned in Asian American Studies 101.
And as a Chinese-American woman who spent 4 years in a relationship with a Caucasian male, why yes! I do have a perspective on this subject. Let's see, where to begin?
I went ahead and looked up the census for Boulder, CO, and according to hello boulder (http://www.helloboulder.com/Census.Cfm) only 4% of your population is of Asian descent. Considering that San Francisco alone has a population of 20% Chinese, and that's only Chinese,
This was a pretty hot topic when I went to college (in which the student pop. was 42% Asian), where seeing an Asian female and a Caucasian male was very common. Some students at the University of California, San Diego even made a video titled "Yellow Fever" about why "all the white guys are stealing (their) women": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQFs33fWzxo.
There are countless theories that I heard while dating my ex-bf. None of which I endorse, all of which I found insulting, since I think our relationship was based on love and mutual respect, as opposed to this rubbish.
- Asian women are trying to date/marry "up".
- The majority of Asian women (and women of other races) are not attracted to Asian men. (sorry Asian men!)
- Caucasian men date Asian women because they have an Asian fetish.
- Caucasian men have an Asian fetish because they find them exotic and submissive.
I could probably list some more but this blog post can't go on forever!
But I'll finish up with what I think, almost done, I promise!: every couple is different. Every situation is different. I am different from the Asian girl that grew up in Asia, different from the Asian girl that grew up in Colorado, different from the Asian girl who is living downstairs from me. We are not the same and we come with different experiences and perspectives (same goes for the Caucasian guys,) and it's problematic when generalizations like the above mentioned are made. It's bad enough that no one can tell us apart!
Man Katie, this was a hard question! Is the next one easier?
Katie asked: What do you anticipate being the biggest change with your upcoming marriage?
Mo answered: Ok good, this one is easier to answer.
Hmmmmmmm....I'm not sure much will change! We have lived together for three years, we pay bills together, we take vacations together, and we won't be moving. I'm also not changing my name, so I won't even have to get used to a new one. I imagine the biggest change would be filing for taxes together and referring to him as "my husband" and not "my boyfriend". Weird.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
I dropped my favorite knife into the sink. It slid into the disposal handle first, meaning the spinning, jumping, deadly blade was sticking straight up into the air. Did I reach over and turn off the disposal? No. I grabbed it.
I willingly offered up as sacrifice the middle finger on my left hand to save my trusty blade.
Since I still have it, I'm pretty sure its a sign from above that I'm supposed to put that finger to good use. Fellow rush-hour commuters...you've been warned!