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Friendship is... [May. 20th, 2005|12:20 am]
Blast off Girl
[music |Blue Velvet - Bobby Vinton on AM 1510]

[mood|Image hosted by Photobucket.com stuffed due to allergies]

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Sno-White drive-in - Oakdale, CA
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School Daze [Apr. 8th, 2005|08:29 am]
Blast off Girl
[music |99th Floor - The Moving Sidewalks]

[mood|Image hosted by Photobucket.com nostalgic]

Thanks Carlos for this topic!

When I think of kindergarten, the first things that pop to mind are:
1) Listening to the Gingerbread story record during nap time. I could not contain my excitement when Barbara, the sweetest guitar playing teacher, pulled this album out from the shelf. I always vowed to locate this record but to no avail.
2) My best friend Gina.
3) Stacking multi-colored towers with the math counting cubes.
4) Getting sent home for lice. One of the teachers examined my hair with a magnifying glass while I painted at the easel.
5) Eating hamburger buns with cream cheese everyday at lunch.

When I think of 1st grade, the first things that pop to mind are:
1) When the Hebrew teacher went downstairs to retrieve some supplies, Danny went to the front of the classroom and pulled his pants and underwear down to his ankles. I screamed, "IT LOOKS LIKE A HOT DOG!". In retrospect, this kid clearly suffered from a severe case of ADHD.
2) My best friend Yael from Israel.
3) The super thick math book with the cool graphics. In the back pages, we popped out the fake coins in order to learn about financial matters.
4) My two sweet teachers - Miriam and Rivka.
5) The phonics textbook with the silly phrases. I always loved this one expression: "A Star in a Jar". I tried to copy the picture in the book.

When I think of 2nd grade, the first things that pop to mind are:
1) Dressing up as a chicken for Purim. I wore a yellow leotard with a faded and peeling iron-on that said "Roller Fever" along with a felt chicken hat and feathered wings. All the kids made fun of me and chanted "Chunk Chunk Chicken" when they saw me. That expression was from a La Choy canned chicken commercial that aired in the early 80's. Needless to say, I felt humiliated.
2) The evil Hebrew teacher caught me cheating for the first time. I peeked at my neighbor's answer sheet during a test. Oops!
3) The incident of the missing chocolate pudding. For some time, someone stole my Hunt's canned chocolate pudding out of my lunch box. Since I was so distressed, my mom discussed this matter with my teacher. The theft immediately ceased the following day. I am convinced that my teacher stole it during recess time. I saw this happen on Fox's "Caught on Tape" series.
4) I won a medal for the March of Dimes readathon despite the fact that I lied and failed to read any of the books on my sponsor list. At least they earned money at the sake of my dishonesty.
5) Taking a field trip to Compukids in West Los Angeles. This marked the first time that I ever tinkered with a computer. At that time, we used cassettes instead of floppy disks.

When I think of 3rd grade, the first things that pop to mind are:
1) I asked Abby, the most popular girl in my grade, to be my friend. Amazingly, she said "yes"! Elana and I always wanted to join her clique and we finally mustered the courage to approach her. It required days of planning.
2) My first pen pal in Pennsylvania. During a lesson in which we learned about letter writing skills, our teacher arranged a writing program with other 3rd grade students at a PA public school. My pen pal never wrote me even though I sent her an Easter shrinky dink.
3) When my speech therapist pulled me out of art class every Wednesday for our session. The therapist exercised little tact during this process. Naturally, the other kids poked fun at my speech impediment.
4) I checked out the same three books from the school library over and over again: "How Babies Are Made", "A Very Young Gymnast", and an animated anatomy book.
5) When Officer Bird performed during an assembly to promote bike and skateboarding safety. The Los Angeles Police Department aired public service announcements with Officer Bird and toured local schools. Officer Bird rode a custom-made bike with helmet. DON'T BE A NERD! LISTEN TO OFFICER BIRD!

When I think of 4th grade, the first things that pop to mind are:
1) During the busy work period, four students including myself discussed current music events in great detail. We dubbed ourselves "The Rock Corner". Yes, we thought we were very cool. I clearly remember a particular discussion in which we debated After The Fire versus Falco's version of "Der Kommiser". I voted for Falco, of course.
2) Aura Lee and I performed a lip synch rendition of the "Stray Cat Strut" during the end-of-the-year talent show. We wore black leotards with a tail, ears, and whiskers.
3) I played Rosa Parks for a play regarding the history of civil rights. We showcased our production during the Martin Luther King day assembly.
4) In art period when we learned about mosaics, I concocted a picture of the Sue the Pac Man monster with tiles.
5) I wrote my first real report about horses.

When I think of 5th grade, the first things that pop to mind are:
1) Learning about the Olympics in great detail since it was 1984 and Los Angeles was home of the summer games.
2) I wrote a huge report about Andrew Jackson and relied on an encyclopedia as a sole resource. Yet, I made up fake book titles for the bibliography. For the oral presentation, I created a film strip, which entailed Sharpie colored stick figures.
3) The awful critical thinking text book. My mom hired me a tutor because I experienced so much difficulty with this topic.
4) Dissecting a squid during the marine biology period. We wrote our name in squid ink as a part of an assignment.
5) Watching a projected film about the Revolutionary War. The teacher aimed the film at the wall and played an accompanying cassette tape. I actually thought the simulated photographs of actors in costume was actual footage from the war.

When I think of 6th grade, the first things that pop to mind are:
1) Ignoring Debra for most of the entire year because all the other girls did even though she did nothing against me. In fact, I do not know why they behaved so poorly.
2) I dressed up as Cyndi Lauper for Purim.
3) The first school dance took place and no one asked me to dance. I wanted to burst into tears but I kept myself busy by standing near the food table and chomping on Soft Baked Cookies all evening.
4) Waiting until the last minute to write a report about Venezuela. My partner completed her sections months ago and I waited until the evening before the due date. My sister had to write my report. I received the worst punishments: my mom sent me to sleep-away camp in the summer (TORTURE!) and took away my Casio keyboard for months.
5) Our first sex ed class! A specialist came to our class and encouraged us to ask questions about sex on an index card. Debra and I asked, "What is head?"
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The Buster Report [Apr. 7th, 2005|07:30 am]
Blast off Girl
[music |Cindy & Bert & The Jay Five - Der Hund von Baskerville]

[mood|Image hosted by Photobucket.com relieved]

Good News!!! I talked to the veterinarian yesterday morning, who reported that Buster appears healthy from a physical standpoint. His blood test yielded negative results, thus ruling out cancer and endocrine problems. However, Buster does suffer from an anxiety disorder, which caused him to shed a few pounds. Dr. Fromer described Buster as a "nervous wreck" and recommended that we consult an animal behaviorist. Apparently, cats are not programmed to cohabitate with other cats. Although Buster gets along fine with Seren, he seems distressed about sharing the territory with her. This finding makes a lot of sense considering Buster behaved fairly well when we lived alone in a studio apartment in Alameda. When we moved to the Oakland hills with Tan Tan, Nishone's cat, Buster's conduct began to deteriorate, as evidenced by his inappropriate elimination. At this point, Buster defecates in the storage closet at least once a day. Moreover, he hates the word "NO!". Whenever I exclaim "NO!", he runs around the room like a madman and violently scratches the carpet and rips the threads out.

It comes as no surprise that Buster exhibits anxiety problems. After all, his mother serves as a poster child for constant worrying and stress. Why could I not lose any weight as a symptom? I am surprised that I have not developed an ulcer. Nonetheless, Dr. Fromer blames Seren's presence as the root of Buster's compromised mental health. I am not sure how we can rectify this situation because I cannot ask Laurie and Seren to relocate. Perhaps she may move out in the summer when the lease expires since she spends most of the day isolated and locked in her room. She seems very unhappy with her living situation. Ironically, when Brett and I hunted for a roommate last August, I specifically indicated that I prefer someone without a cat. However, Laurie seemed like the best candidate due to her normalcy. Plus, she lacked a car. Brett and I did not wish to share our two underground parking spaces with a third roommate. How's that for selfish?

In the meantime, I will try to solve the problem by meeting with the behaviorist. Contrary to everyone's belief, the session does not entail Buster lounging on a couch while free associating. The behaviorist and I will discuss Buster's behavioral history in great detail for at least 90 minutes. Afterward, she will provide suggestions in order to manage Buster's issues. We will then meet again to determine whether improvements occurred after a four week period. If the problems persist, then she may consider prescribing anti-anxiety medication. I am not sure how I feel about this. I think we are overmedicating society as a whole but now the pharmaceutical industry wants to cash in on our pets? Perhaps the medication will produce fantastic results but I remain weary about this prospect.

Regardless, I feel relieved beyond belief. While anxiously waiting by the phone yesterday morning, my entire body ached as I anticipated terrible news. I honestly believed that Buster suffered from a fatal condition. I could not get out of bed until the vet contacted me since my body was paralyzed with fear. I am also happy that I did not cancel my trip. Thus, I will stay in Southern California until Sunday and plan to check out Satisfaction on Saturday night.

After speaking with Dr. Fromer, I naturally felt considerably happier and jumped out of bed. My mom and I headed to the Westfield Palm Desert Mall, where we shopped and saw "Walk on Water" at the Palme D'Or theater. This Israeli/German film is so good and I totally recommend it. It focuses on an Israeli agent who must hunt down a Nazi war criminal by infiltrating the lives of his grandchildren. The plot covers all the bases including romance, interpersonal relationships, politics, homosexuality, nationalism, cross-culturalism, etc. It was a very engaging and well-written film.

After the movie, we stopped at Toys R Us and searched for a kitchen set that Jason requested for his birthday. Of course it was sold out. My mom and I then started to fight for a stupid issue involving the rental car among many other nitpicky issues. We eventually reconciled and ate dinner at the Sea Grille restaurant located at the Marriott Desert Springs Hotel. I ate linguine pasta with butter garlic sauce. For dessert, the waiter presented me with a free birthday slice of banana peanut butter pie, which knocked my socks off!
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Birthday Shenanigans Part III [Apr. 5th, 2005|10:06 pm]
Blast off Girl
[music |Some movie on HBO]

[mood|Image hosted by Photobucket.com distressed about Buster]

Greetings from Palm Desert! Earlier today I flew into Long Beach Airport via Jet Blue, rented a car from Alamo, and headed east to the desert to celebrate my birthday with my family. I arrived at the Marriott Villas at 4:30 P.M. after battling traffic for over two hours on Highway 91. Shortly after, my mom, sister, brother-in-law, and two nephews treated me to a delicious dinner at Sullivan's Steakhouse on El Paseo. I shared a side of macaroni & cheese and creamed corn with my two nephews. For dessert, we all gorged on a chocolate chip souffle. My parents spoiled me and gave me money and a $100.00 gift certificate to the Cheesecake Factory! My sister's family bought me an ultra-sleek Nikon digital camera. I promise to snap more photos now!

Despite the joyous birthday celebrations, I cannot help from feeling depressed. For starters, Mike returned home to Connecticut earlier this morning after spending the weekend with me. Long distance relationships are so difficult to deal with. Saying "good-bye" hurts so much that I cannot find the words to truly describe the departure. Fortunately, I had the chance to stay with Mike until his flight boarded since we both booked reservations on Jet Blue within a one hour time period. It usually feels so impersonal when I dump Mike at the airport curbside.

The other major issue bogging me down deals with Buster's health. Last week, Nishone pointed out that Buster appeared considerably thinner compared to last summer. I also noticed his slender waist recently but blamed it on his healthy diet consisting of Royal Canin Indoor Cat Food. Perhaps this brand of food contains less calories since indoor cats exercise less than outdoor cats. I decided to "fatten up" Buster by serving him junky commercial food such as dry Whiskas and Savory Pate moist fillet. I tried to justify his weight loss because he no longer had access to table scraps. When Nishone lived with us, she often fed him potato chips, cheese, and bread. Agata also served him high class meals including veal and butter churned in Vermont; yet, she returned to Austria in January. Laurie also took a stand and now leaves her bedroom door closed at all times, thus curbing Buster's excess meals courtesy of Seren. Plus, he maintains an active lifestyle and often runs around the house in pursuit of Seren. Nonetheless, Nishone recommended that I consult his vet despite all the changes in his diet. When I dropped Buster at the kennel for boarding yesterday, I expressed my concerns to the receptionist. He booked an appointment with the doctor at 5:30 PM so we could discuss this issue in greater detail.

I dragged Mike to the vet after eating a mediocre dinner at the Velvet Grill in Alameda. I felt so sick with fear that I lost my appetite. Anyway, the doctor examined Buster and reported that he appeared healthy on a superficial level. However, he weighed 11.3 pounds and lost one pound since January. This drop marked a significant decline and raised a red flag. Plus, his temperature was 99.8 degrees. The average for cats is 100 degrees. The vet recommended blood work and a urine test to assess for abnormalities. If the tests come back negative, she may consider organ imaging, which provides detailed information akin to an x-ray. She also hypothesized that the drastic weight loss perhaps reflected an anxiety disorder. When describing his eneuretic and encopretic issues, she pointed out that Buster seems unusually stressed as a result of Seren's presence. However, she needs to rule out any biological bases for Buster's problems. If it proves to be a behavioral issue, then she will refer Buster to an animal psychologist. She drew blood earlier this morning and will provide the lab results tomorrow morning.

Needless to say, I feel sick and riddled with anxiety. My whole body aches when I think about this issue. What is Buster suffers from cancer? Perhaps he may exhibit an endocrine problem such as hyperthyroidism. Regardless, I LOVE THIS CAT SO MUCH! I feel like such a selfish mom that I left him alone in the kennel while I cavort in Palm Desert. I should have canceled my trip. If the tests come out with bad news, I will return home immediately. Whenever I think about him, tears start rolling down my face. I miss Buster so much!!!

After the doctor's appointment, I went to my first piano class at Piedmont Adult School. I really like the structure of the class as well as the teacher. Unfortunately, Buster's condition distracted me and I could not pay attention to the lesson. Mike wins an award for his patience since he sat with me in class. Afterward, we watched "Odd Girl Out" on Lifetime. I love the fact that my boyfriend enjoys Lifetimes movies as much as I do. I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Before all the cat drama ensued, Mike and I had a great weekend. On Saturday, we met Brett (not the house mate), Audra, Eric, Ami, and Jorge for lunch at Val's in Hayward. I love this restaurant! I can't believe that I lived in the Bay Area for 12 years and never ate at this diner. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and a hot fudge sundae. Audra and I also shared a basket of onion rings. We had so much fun and I am glad that I finally got the chance to meet Jorge from Los Angeles. After lunch, Mike and I drove around Hayward and snapped photos of cool Googie signs.

On Saturday night, we went to San Francisco and spent the night at the very nice Stanyan Luxe Hotel near the Golden Gate Park. We strolled along Haight Street and perused the shelves at Amoeba. I picked up am original copy of the Robbs LP and a Cowsills record. We then retreated to our hotel room where we watched another good Lifetime movie called "The Unsaid" with Andy Garcia.

On Sunday, we relaxed during the day but ate dinner at the Elephant Bar in Concord. I then took Mike to Bella Roma Pizzeria in order to check out the pipe organ. This was so cool! We spent an hour watching the organist as he played standards while instruments produced sounds overhead. Afterward, we played Pop Culture Trivial Pursuit with Eric and Ami until 1:00 AM. I won, by the way!!!!!!!!!
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Birthday Shenanigans Part II [Apr. 1st, 2005|10:30 am]
Blast off Girl
[music |Think Twice - Salvation]

[mood|Image hosted by Photobucket.com bouncy]

The birthday celebration continues! Nishone treated me to a yummy lunch at Fenton's yesterday, in honor of my special day. I have not seen her in ages due to her hectic schedule, so I enjoyed the fact that we could just sit and talk. I admit that I harbored some animosity toward her because she often fails to return my phone calls. When she neglected to call me on my birthday last week, I practically blew a fuse and vowed never to see her again. After all, we met in 1992 and she never missed my birthday even when she lived in Seattle. I realize that our friendship will never return to its former close status but she should have the decency to wish me a happy day. I did not expect a gift; just a card, e-mail, or phone call. Fortunately, Nishone pulled through, albeit late, and called me on Tuesday. She attended Viva Las Vegas last weekend so I forgave her for her tardiness. Anyway, she redeemed herself by inviting me to lunch at Fenton's. I ate mozzarella cheese sticks and a small sundae with cookies & cream and hot fudge. She also gave me a polka dotted journal. Afterward, we planned to see a movie but we could not pick anything so we just chatted at my house. I really missed Nishone because she is an amazing and good-hearted person. I did not want her out of my life because we always get along so well. That explains why I work so hard to keep her as an integral aspect of my social sphere.

Ever since Nishone joined Thee Merry Widows, it seems like an impossible task to maintain consistent communication. Thee Merry Widows recently arrived home from a 10 day tour in ENGLAND with the Priscillas, a British all-girl garage band. Several days after returning to the states, they played in Paso Robles followed by Santa Ana. These lovely girls are really moving up! Nishone proudly displayed her photos and it looks like she had an amazing time. It makes me want to start an all girl band more than ever. Her band functions like a sisterhood and they all get along so great and create super catchy music in the vein of the Cramps.

On Wednesday night, Ami and Eric prepared me a birthday dinner consisting of delicious baked ziti and garlic bread sticks. Ami definitely possesses a knack for cooking! Mike and Dawn, their house mates, also joined us and we just gabbed all night. Mike, who hails from Dana Point, shares some mutual friends with me.

In between all the birthday celebrations, work constantly keeps me busy. Supervision took place on Wednesday and I continued testing "Angry Woman" on Tuesday, who enjoys berating me. She demanded that I finish the assessment by late April, when her court date takes place. I explained that her tardiness will most likely delay the report. I suggested that she ask the judge for an extension but she grew upset, "That's impossible! I need this done or I will get in trouble." Since my vacation falls next week, I offered her another testing appointment this week. I thought to myself, "If I can work fast enough, I can definitely get it done within a few weeks. She is really trying hard to better herself and wants to make an effort." Thus, we scheduled an appointment for Thursday despite the fact I only go to the office twice a week. Anyway, I wake up early for our 10:00 AM session and she fails to show up! I drove 80 miles round trip to Fremont and wasted gas for nothing. She never had the decency to cancel or apologize for her absence. I can only imagine the judge's reaction when he learns about her behavior.

Anyway, I have a lot of cleaning to do today in order to prepare for Mike's arrival. Yay! I better get off the computer and buy some supplies at Target.
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Happy Belated Birthday to Me [Mar. 29th, 2005|11:19 pm]
Blast off Girl
[music |Up There - The Scoundrels]

[moodImage hosted by Photobucket.com happy]

I turned 32 on March 25th. The day proceeded with very little fanfare because I am the type of subdued person who likes to live under the radar. You will never find me wearing a birthday tiara and demanding everyone to treat me like a queen on that day. After all, March 25th is simply another day on the calendar. My mother just happened to deliver me on that evening 32 years ago. I guess I do not bother celebrating my birthday because I do not want to set myself up for disappointment. Rather than sitting by the phone or waiting for the mailman, I prefer to treat March 25th like any other day. Thus, if certain friends fail to contact me, then it will not bother me since I did not expect anything in the first place. Ironically, I skipped work on that day because I secretly wished that I had plans. However, I did absolutely nothing on Friday other than talk on the phone. I want to thank those very special friends and family members who called me and sent me lovely gifts, cards, and e-mails. You know who you are and your kindness and thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.

Nonetheless, my birthday weekend turned out a lot better than expected. On Saturday night, my house mate Brett threw a birthday party for himself. He allowed me to invite a few friends at the last minute, so I chose Eric and Ami. We all had a great time! Approximately 30 people from all walks of life attended. I enjoyed meeting Brett's sweet friends and wondered why they like him (ha!). The women and men dressed very fancy in long skirts and suits, respectively. Our penthouse seemed so alive and beautiful with the animated and gregarious crowd. For the first time, I really started to enjoy our new home and forgot about our former house in the Oakland hills. Anyway, Brett served several foods including homemade Thai noodle salad, Italian cold cuts, Greek salad, vegetables with dip, European cheeses, and baguette. I donated spring flowered cookies, which I bought from Albertson's. The guests devoured those cookies within an hour! I also surprised Brett with a chocolate butter cream cake that I picked up from Neldam's Danish bakery in Oakland. The clerk wrote "Happy Birthday Sherry & Brett" thanks to the insistence of my mother. Everyone complimented me about the cake because it tasted so delicious. Nobody knew about this old school 60's bakery. When we carried the cake into the living room, Brett appeared quite surprised because he did not know about my birthday. In fact, he actually treated me with respect and asked, "Why didn't you tell me about your birthday? If I knew, we could have had a dual birthday! I feel so bad now." I explained that I did not want to steal his thunder since he spent so much money on the alcohol and arranged all the plans on his own. If we still live together next year, we may throw a dual March Madness birthday party and you are all invited! Anyway, everyone got loaded and some people passed out and spent the night at our place. Our bar contained over 30 bottles of alcohol. The Absolut Raspberry Vodka magically disappeared by the end of the night. People finally left at 2:00 AM. Amazingly, the manager, who lives below us, did not complain about the noise.

Move over Spuds McKenzie! Buster is the new party animal! Buster refused to spend the night in my room and mingled with the guests. He floated from one clique to the next and behaved so well. He sat in-between guests on the couch and then sprawled himself out in the bar area while a group of party-goers convened around him. He later sat on a chair with quite a few attractive ladies. At the end of the night, he slept on the couch among the other drunk folks. Seren, Laurie's cat, hid under the bed. Not Buster! He seemed so annoyed whenever I checked up on him. I know he thought to himself, "Go away, Mom! You're embarrassing me!" All the guests loved him but if they only knew about his litter pan issues.

On Sunday, Michelle and Dylan drove to San Francisco in the pouring rain to celebrate my birthday. They treated me to lunch at Bucca Di Peppo, where we ordered a large Margherita pizza, Cesar salad, and mozzarella garlic bread. Afterward, Michelle and I went to the Fillmore district and Japantown. We ate cake at the Andersen Bakery and talked for hours while Dylan spent time in North Beach. Michelle bought me MAC mascara and white frosted lipstick ("Bubbles"), my signature trademark. She also bought me "Rose Colored 60's", a hardcover pop culture book with accompanying DVD.

At the end of the night, I felt so exhausted that I decided to skip the Shonen Knife and Gore Gore Girls show in San Jose. Plus, the heavy rainfall skewered the visibility on the highway. I considered checking out the Sacramento show the following night at Old Ironsides but the piano course at Piedmont Adult School interfered. I toyed with the idea of leaving after class at 8:00 PM but that proved too risky since it might sell out. Old Ironsides operates on a first-come first-serve basis, so Michelle could not buy me a ticket. Ironically, the piano instructor failed to attend last night. I could have arrived in time for the show but alas it was not meant to be.

Taken as a whole, I had a great birthday weekend after all. Despite my sob story, my birthday celebration is not quite over. Eric and Ami plan to cook me dinner tomorrow night; Nishone will treat me to lunch on Thursday; Mike comes to town this weekend; and my family will spoil me next week in Palm Desert. I have the best friends and family ever! Why would I ever want to complain?!?
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Household Drama [Mar. 25th, 2005|12:51 am]
Blast off Girl
[music |Mel Carter on Hullaballoo]

[mood|Image hosted by Photobucket.com tired]

Today I hired a professional house cleaning team in order to compensate for the fact that I did not complete my chores since moving into this penthouse in August. Naturally, Brett lectured me about my laziness several weeks ago since he asked me to clean the laundry room on two separate occasions. Moreover, he complained that I isolate myself in my bedroom. I explained to him that I require silence due to my work and dissertation commitments. I think his disappointment truly masks a simmering anger regarding the DVD incident. When I transfered the VCR/DVD player into my room in January, he accused me of stealing all the cable bandwidth since channel two (Fox) no longer functions properly in the den. He also has been dropping hints that perhaps I should move out when the lease expires. As expected, he expressed his concern about Buster's behavior problems and hypothesized that Buster may feel happier if I lived on my own. I refuse to move out and I know that the landlord will not evict me since I promptly pay my rent. I consider myself a reasonable person since I granted him permission to allow Agata to live with us in July. Not surprisingly, he wants the master bedroom; however, I refuse to relinquish this spacious room.

Regardless of Brett's never ending list of problems, I completely agree with his concerns about my slothiness. Thus, I offered to hire professional maids as a form of reconciliation. Brett seemed rather pleased and readily agreed to abide by my plans. For the past three weeks, I searched on Craigslist but 99% of the prospects failed to return my call. I finally decided to pick the first person who answered my phone call. I had no time to check references because Brett's birthday party takes place this weekend. I chose a woman named Karla, who did an amazing job along with her husband. They worked for three hours and charged $60.00. They scrubbed the linoleum tiles in the pantry, laundry room, and kitchen; wiped down all the counters; washed the sinks and laundry machine/dryer; oiled the cabinets; wiped the mirrors; mopped the foyer, den, and living room; and vacuumed the rug. Brett asked me to hire a professional service such as Molly Maids. However, they charge a whopping $99.00 for the first two hours plus $50.00 thereafter. I am so happy with Karla's work that we plan hire her again in the future.

Despite Karla's excellent service, Brett acted super paranoid and insisted that I supervise them at all times. Thus, I spent three hours sitting and watching Karla and her husband clean the apartment. During this time, I noticed that a Glass Plus bottle, which Brett left on the table earlier this week, leaked at the nozzle. Unfortunately, he placed this bottle on his vintage Danish Modern table, thus creating a large bleached circular stain. Brett freaked out and left work in order to investigate the damage. He called the manufacturers and complained. He also threatened to sue the company.

Afterward, he griped about the Lysol general cleanser I purchased this morning. He requested Mr. Clean but I refuse to support Proctor & Gamble since they test on animals. He claims the floor is not as clean as expected since we did not use Mr. Clean. Yet, he never offered to buy Mr. Clean.

So, why do I put up with this guy? Here is one reason:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Meet our 4 foot tall furry purple Nauga Monster house mate! Brett actually convinced his former girlfriend to sew this masterpiece, which required three solid weeks of work, and then proceeded to dump her. Why do all the jerky guys snag the nice girls?
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Trivia Nerd [Mar. 24th, 2005|02:51 am]
Blast off Girl
[music |One Night Stand - Grotesque Mommies]

[mood|Image hosted by Photobucket.com dorky]

I just arrived home from Eric and Ami's house and got my ass whipped while playing the pop culture edition of Trivial Pursuit. I love this game but I underestimated the difficulty of certain questions. I definitely plan to purchase this game soon. Afterward, we just talked for hours about all sorts of topics. Did I mention Eric's father worked as a roadie for the Blue's Magoos in the 60's? Anyway, they allowed me to borrow three DVDs of "Hullaballo" episodes. I am so happy that such nice and genuine people moved to the Bay Area. I hope they decide to stay in California indefinitely.

Other than that, I have been working a lot. I went to supervision today and accepted another new case involving a psychotic woman. I am completely overloaded but I need the money. Plus, none of peers volunteered to test the woman. I think a great deal of the interns fear assessing people with thought disorders but I rather work with this population than with individuals exhibiting depressive symptoms.

Yesterday I continued testing the mother who lost her children after experiencing a panic attack. I think she suffered a psychotic break but she adamantly disagrees. Regardless, it will take me over four sessions to complete the evaluation because she arrives so late to our sessions.

Unfortunately, I did not ride BART to work these past two days. Naturally, the heavy rain fall played a large role but I also failed to obtain a parking space. I enjoy the ease of public transportation and the fact I am somewhat contributing to a healthier environment. However, the cut-throat parking antics of other BART patrons frustrates me. Other drivers have almost crashed into my car while attempting to snag a space from me. Of course the lot fills up by 8:00 AM. If I arrive after 10:00 AM, it remains dubious whether I can park my car. I relinquished my search on Tuesday after circling the lot for 20 minutes.

Anyway, on Monday I started assessing an 11 year-old child. When I asked about her hobbies and favorite television shows, she told me that she loved Lifetime movies! Needless to say, we discussed some of our favorite episodes. Her knowledge about this area completely impressed me! She also recently saw one of my favorites - "Sweet Dreams" starring Tiffani Amber Thiessen. I am not sure why such a young girl would enjoy films geared for suburban housewives but that did not stop us from gushing over the world premiere of "Mom at 16" that evening. Yes, I am the epitome of professionalism. I suppose her affinity for adult programming corresponds to her overall mature demeanor and past behavior. Yet, I question why her foster parents expose to her to these adult themes at an elementary school age. At 11 years of age, I only wanted to watch "Silver Spoons", "Diff'rent Strokes", "Punky Brewster", and "Facts of Life". Sheesh, I had to sneak and watch "Trapper John M.D." in the early 80's. Kids today...
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Weekend Update [Mar. 21st, 2005|12:30 am]
Blast off Girl
[music |I'm Not There - Lil' Boy Blues (local boys from Sunnyvale)]

[mood|Image hosted by Photobucket.com pleased]

I just arrived home from a pleasant evening at the Riptide bar in San Francisco, where Brett and Russell spun some groovy records at Spinout. Despite the small and intimate crowd, everyone had a fun time just chatting and dancing. There was no pretension whatsoever unlike other clubs. I met up with Eric and Ami, who arrived earlier in the afternoon. We planned to ride the BART together but I canceled because of my HAIR! Since my stylist instructed me to wait 72 hours before washing my hair, I decided to wait until 4:30 P.M. Obviously, I did not want to delay Eric and Ami's plans, who preferred to leave Oakland at 4:00 PM. Thus, I told them that I would meet them later in the evening. I finally washed my hair at 3:00 PM while experiencing an overwhelming sense of anxiety and trepidation. As I lathered the shampoo, I nervously wondered, "What if the waves come back?" Fortunately, my hair remained exceptionally straight. I blow-dried it without a curling brush and it is still straight! I love my hair!!! When I arrived at the Riptide, Eric and Ami suspected that I wore a wig because my hair seems longer than ever.

Anyway, everyone ordered food from Brother's Pizza next door but I declined since I felt stuffed after eating a crummy lunch at Olive Garden. At one point, a crazy older man wearing a track suit sat near Ami and I and yelled in our ear about something "STUPID". While riding on the L Taraval Muni, a mentally ill man singled me out and revealed his life story. Is there a flashing neon sign that hangs over my head that reads SHRINK? Whenever Ami discussed a certain topic, this man interrupted and explained his entire drug, judicial, and social history. Did I mention that he served two prison sentences for attempted murder? How about his theory regarding Scott Peterson? According to this guy, Laci Peterson went boating with Scott but accidentally fell and hit her head. Scott Peterson reacted in fear since he knew that no one would believe him. Thus, he threw his wife's body into the ocean. Mark Geragos, where are you? Mr. Psycho has presented the 67th alibi for Laci Peterson's death. Can you believe that I learned all this information on a 10 minute Muni ride?

Needless to say, I am exhausted especially since I woke up early this morning to check out the toy show in Hayward. A large majority of the vendors also attended the San Jose toy show on Saturday, so the selection failed to pique my interest. Fortunately, I saved my money on both days and restrained myself. I think the fact that I woke up with a dent in my hair hampered my mood. Plus, the fact that I parked in a muddy soccer field, which soiled my mary jane shoes when I exited my car, ruined my day. The bent hair devastated me since Catherine warned me to avoid any object or activity that could potentially imprint my newly straightened hair. Unfortunately, my sleeping pattern formed a large crease in the front. I frantically called my stylist all day for advice. The owner of the salon informed me that the first washing will remove the flaw. However, I wanted to talk my stylist but she neglected to return my call. I tried to distract myself by shopping at the Oak Ridge Mall and eating a yummy lunch at BJ's but to no avail. My mom and sister suggested that I go to the salon and directly ask for help. Smart move! Catherine flat ironed my hair again for free because quite a few dents surfaced due to my sleep movements. She also reassured me that the dents were not permanent since the gist of the treatment occurred on Thursday. Catherine was right! When I stepped out of the shower, no dents could be found.

All's well that ends well!
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Hair! Flow it, show it, long as God can grow it, my hair! [Mar. 18th, 2005|11:34 pm]
Blast off Girl
[music |You Don't Know Like I Know - The Daggs]

[mood|Image hosted by Photobucket.com satisfied]

Yesterday I finally chemically straightened my hair and I LOVE the results! This is seriously one of the best investments because it is permanent and it makes me feel so much better about my appearance. Now I no longer have to spend money on professional blow-outs and flat iron treatments. Plus, I will probably not have to repeat the process for at least two years because my hair grows in completely straight. The wave begins slightly below the chin. My hair looks so healthy and shiny too! I cannot believe so many people reported experiencing negative side effects such as frying. It turned out much better than I expected.

Anyway, the process, which occurred at We Are Hair in Alameda, began at 1:30 PM. Catherine used the Rusk Thermal Str8 kit, which consists of the following steps:
1) Catherine first washed my hair with a special shampoo to remove excess build-up.
2) She then applied a thick leave-in conditioner.
3) She then sprayed on a sweet smelling spray that coats and protects the hair from damage.
4) She blow dried my hair.
5) The most important stage - Catherine brushed on a thick and stinky straightening paste while simultaneously combing my hair into its desired shape.
6) I waited for five minutes with plastic sheets lining my head in order to maintain the shape.
7) My hair literally straightened within five minutes. Catherine informed me that this is quite unusual. Most of her clients who undergo this procedure sport kinky curly hair. This step typically lasts 30-60 minutes for the average customer. However, most of the damage and drying happens during this phase. If an incompetent stylist leaves on the solution for too long, frying can ensue. Catherine tested my hair by tying various strands into knots. If the knots immediately unravel, then the solution must stay on. However, my knots rested in place, suggesting a job well done.
8) She washed the paste off.
9) She blow dried my hair.
10) She flat ironed my hair.
11) She brushed on a sealant type coat, which helps oxidate the hair and maintain the shape.
12) She washed the coat off.
13) She blow dried my hair.
14) The final flat iron.

$276.00 ($240.00 plus $36.00 tip) spent and three hours later, I walked out of the salon with the straightest hair ever. My hair also appears much longer! I think it practically reaches my mid-back. I realize that the amount sounds exceptionally expensive but I actually received a great deal. When I researched the technique, I discovered that most salons charge a flat rate of $350-$500. We Are Hair charges $80.00 an hour. A flat rate seems unfair because my formerly wavy hair is considerably more straight than the average curly haired customer. It requires a lot more effort and labor to straighten curly hair; thus the $500 rate at the Spot in Santa Monica, for example, seems justified. Yet, it backfires for people with wavy hair.

Anyway, the process lifted the black and caused my hair color to fade to brown. However, my stylist informed me about this side effect. In fact, I planned this appointment at this particular time because I knew I wanted to re-tint my hair in early April. However, one must wait 7-10 days before dying. Also, I cannot wash my hair for 72 hours after the procedure in order to allow the hair to oxidize. I wore a cap while showering today and my hair still looks great. I cannot wear any barrettes or ponytails for 72 hours either because that may cause permanent dents. I worried that sleeping would destroy the shape but it remains straight as a board.

Thankfully, nothing exciting is taking place this weekend. I do not want to leave my house with smelly hair, which explains why I stayed at home tonight. I barely did anything today except go to Toys R Us and Lyon's. I wanted to avoid the rain at all costs because water will revert the process.

Wow! This entry sounds exceptionally vain. I just wrote five paragraphs about HAIR! I can't help it; I love my hair!

P.S. My mom told me that she will reimburse me for a portion of the cost as one of my birthday gifts.
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