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Showing posts from November, 2011

The T: Morning Madness

It takes 12 minutes for me to get to work on the train. Sweet, right? Yes, it is.

What's not sweet is the rush hour crowd of commuters. Usually, I handle it pretty well -- I just plug my earphones in, start up Final Fantasy III on my iPhone, and I am off to a magical place where fearsome beasts will get the pwning they richly deserve, at least after I level up and buy expensive equipment.

This morning was special, though. Not special as in "needs consideration due to developmental disabilities," but special as in "you deserve my foot in your ass." I first became aware of unpleasantness when a young lady nearby started loudly declaring into her cell phone, "This kid is embarrassing. He won't do what I say." Please note that I hear this through my headphones that are trumpeting RPG battle music (bumbumbum BUMBUM bumbumbumbumbum BUMBUM buh-buh-BUUUUUM), and the kid in question is a little five-year-old, who appears to be guilty of... wait for it... …

Dietary Moments of Note

This post is dedicated to Ms. B.B.S., of New York, since I ripped the title from a gmail chat with her.

Yesterday my stomach acids led a revolution against me. The sneaky buggers enlisted the aid of my proteases, and together they scooped up some hapless chyme and went on a roaring rampage back up into my esophagus, screaming, "Freeedooooom!!!" and making me go pale and clammy during a closed-door conference call in my boss' office. Desperate for a displacement activity, I drew this little gem in my notepad:

This means: 

In the past 14 hours, I consumed four glasses of red wine, three baked giant pork ribs, a deep-fried chicken drumstick, a deep-fried mystery item, and lots of leafy greens. Then I had two full glasses of water. 

The next day, I had my usual breakfast (cereal with blueberries and almonds, French press coffee, and a glass of water), and my usual snack (banana and tea).

Then I barfed.
After I was released back into the wild (cubicle), I called my mommy to ask h…

Movie Review: Hugo (2011)

Hugo is amazing. I went in there expecting it to be all about the boy (the eponymous Hugo Cabret) but actually 'twas about movies! Specifically, old movies, the magic of making movies, movies as expressions of human dreams, and other film-centered themes. I also thought that Hugo was the name of the automaton who does a slo-mo flying thing in the trailers, but actually it's just a MacGuffin. Read about MacGuffins here. I repeat: Hugo is the boy, not the machine.

The lead, Asphalt Butterface (real name: Asa Butterfield) did a good job with the role, although I do suggest a drinking game called, "How many times does Hugo flare his nostrils?" when you have the movie on DVD or streaming. Seriously, I know you're compensating for sparse eyebrows, kid, but you could be the Jack Nicholson of nostrils if you're not careful. Speaking of, I had to stop myself from yelling, "She's a vampire!" whenever Chloe Moretz's character skipped closer to Hugo, an…


(to the beat of 80's rap)
We ate a bunch of turkey And the next day we went To ride up on the ferry It cost a couple cents.
We got down to Nantucket And walked around a bit Something about a bucket So we sat down to eat.
He had his usual chowder He thinks it tastes divine I had bisque something-or-other I'm sure it tasted fine.
Nantucket is a pretty place With lots of scenery And tourist traps in every space For people just like me!
The day was freakish; yes it was! The sun beat down like hell And the fun sights in store for us Included this golden bell.
We went down to the beach to see The lighthouse, small and cute We danced around, we frolicked, and we Did our photo shoot!

 And lo, the sunset did come down And the tree got all lit up We rode the ferry back to town I tried not to throw up*
*I have motion sickness.

All in all, I have to say I had some grand ol' times But next time that I go away I'll do it with no rhymes.

Sign Language, etc.

Update, 08/20/2015: Apparently the chart below is wrong! Read post below with many grains of salt. 

I think I'd like to learn American Sign Language (ASL). It functions as its own language, with rules for grammar, punctuation, sentence order, etc. ASL tends to be essential in my industry -- I've seen proposals that list direct service providers "fluent in ASL," usually linked to our strengths-based approach/diversity. Diversity is good. Just ask Mother Nature:

Hi, I'm Mother Nature, in my guise as a tiny plant. A tiny plant, by the way, that will  help researchers design new crops to help meet increasing demands for food, biofuels, industrial materials, and new medicines. Read all about it here.

Moving on: diversity is good. Because I say so. And also because -- and I specifically mean biodiversity here -- diversity promotes healthy ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems can better withstand and/or recover from disasters. Think about it. We live in the Century of the Anch…

Twilight Cured My Cold

...or it may have been the copious amounts of ginger tea, green tea, water, aspirin, and comfort food that I steadily consumed yesterday. I was like an eating/drinking machine at work. But let's go back to the beginning.

It all started this weekend. I was still giggling in delight from having a new job. I went running twice in the strangely balmy November weather. I was in the pink of health. Similarly, Sheba showed signs of kitty strength -- as opposed to when she sneezed in everyone's face on a regular basis. Per our weekend tradition, she and I went to Boyfriend's house and girlishly twirled around. For a change, Oscar looked on without hissing.

Meanwhile, Boyfriend had been sneezing all week, and I have no idea where he would have gotten the cold virus, since he doesn't have a girlfriend who goes into the subway every day and comes into contact with stranger germs, and then touches everything in his apartment. Oh wait, he does. But it might have been someone else,…

How To: Save Candles

Let's say you like candles because they smell nice, or because you don't want to kill house guests and pets when you pass gas. Great. But after they burn for a little while, candles tend to look like this:

But despair not! You can still get mileage out of those precious Yankee Candles. You will need the following items:
potbutcher's twinetongsround cookie cutter(s)
Step 1: Boil water in a pot Unless your name is Akane Tendo, there's no way you'll mess this up.
Step 2: Put the candle(s) in the boiling water. The candles will float, but to ensure that they don't smoosh against the super heated metal and cause the glass to crack, you can put cookie cutters under them to keep them in place. In the picture below, the top candle is not cooperating. 
Step 3: Remove from water Use tongs, and be very, very careful. For the ladies: your man can help during this step.
Step 4: Combine the melted wax into one container. A normal person would put down one candle, and then use th…

I Feel Fat

I know what you're thinking: "Based on the title, I'm in for an insightful and incredibly deep blog post!"

You are wrong!

I was a fat, happy baby. Now I am distinctly less happy, partly because I conform to society's desire for me to not be fat. Dammit. In the Philippines, a sleek body is easily achieved; no matter how many tropical fruits and deep fried meat dishes you shovel down your gut, you're gonna sweat it out, either by cursing vigorously at the traffic or the economic state of the country, by standing under the sun for more than two seconds, or by worrying about the next natural disaster that will force you to paddle down a main street. Because our bodies are roughly 70% water, constantly losing that water via sweat glands makes you thin! It's science.

By contrast, the US poses a difficult challenge for aspiring bikini models like myself. It gets bloody cold up here, which makes your blood move sluggishly throughout your body, which in turn causes…

Fun with Acronyms

I may not have mentioned that although I despised my old boss and his assistant, I adored my old coworkers. One in particular was almost at my level of Witty and Clever (just a few more years, my child!). There were times when we would exchange droll witticisms for thirty minutes straight, or throughout the day, to distract ourselves from the crushing reality that we worked at BOOBS.

Happily, my fellow denizens in cubicle land show signs of similar awesomeness. And by awesomeness, I mean their cackling appreciation of my random brain farts. They're especially tickled by my dubbing our department, acronym PSG, as the Popular & Sexy Group. (Actual name: Public Strategy Group) Now I'm inspired to come up with pretend names for the other groups, like Gentle Lovers for GL (General Ledger).

Speaking of acronyms, I have a nine-page guide to essential acronyms. Nine. Pages. Of acronyms. Specialized jargon is apparently one of the pillars of this industry. Good thing Mama is a nur…

The Monday Night Sake Bomb

sapporo da: a haiku

wa ga sapporo
nonde yo nonde
hebereke da.

(I am Sapporo.
Drink, drink.
You're dead drunk!)

Note: In Japanese, "nonde" is three syllables: "noh"-"n"-"de." Thus, my haiku works.

Here are some fun facts:

The Sapporo can is super strong because if its shape and its corrugated-ness. Do not crush on your forehead.One super can contains 22 oz of 5.2% alcohol.I weigh 51 kg and spent 1.5 hours consuming 2 full cans of Sapporo, with 2 shot glasses of sake.The percentage of my body that can absorb alcohol is around 0.65.That means: my blood alcohol level last night was 0.144%, waaay above the 0.08% legal limit.Obviously, the legal limit should be raised. Or, I should realize that one sake bomb is enough for me, given my pathetic lightweight drinking ability.
Now, when one is drunk, one must do something stupid, or at least ill-advised. Encouraged by the alkihol coursing merrily through my system, I finally wrote a response to someone …

Lessons Learned: an Attempt at Objectivity

I complained endlessly about my old boss and my old company, but now that I think about it, I learned a heckuva lot while being slow-roasted on the altar of office drama and managerial incompetence. Here's my top three list:

1. Remember details. Specifically, details about people. This is important because everyone has something they can help you with, from minor stuff like telling you where certain files are located, to absolutely crucial stuff, like revealing where to get knee-high boots that look good and are waterproof and won't break your bank. I remember people's names by visualizing the letters across their foreheads. Also, I inherited the Nosy Gene from my mom, so I listen aggressively to everyday chatter, and file information away for future conversations where I incidentally bring up something I need.

Example: "Hi [name], did you have a great time at [location]? I bet your [item] really worked out for you. By the way, I don't have a trash can in my cubicl…

Kitty Tales

Sheba and Oscar are starting to get along. His incidents of hissy fits have diminished dramatically, and his hiss-to-ignore ratio has started to even out. Sheba, like Ghandi before her, has serenely ignored the threats of violence and advocated her position through peaceful means, e.g. cluelessly wandering around. Today I caught Oscar making a swipe at her, but it was probably just for show, since he missed her face by a couple of inches.

This is clearly a case of territorial aggression, which Sheba has previously demonstrated. You wouldn't think the sweet little fur ball had it in her, but a neighborhood cat once followed me into my old apartment, and Sheba hissed with such venom that it scampered back outside. Since this is Oscar's territory, she isn't upset -- he is. But one day, they shall be found curled up against each other. And on that day, there shall be much cooing. And afterwards, a framed photograph.

I'm not a cat lady at all, I swear.

Office Monkey


Slightly related: I hope I'm not wrong about my company having Casual Fridays. Otherwise... I'll have to describe my outfit as Executive Cowgirl.

I came in this morning to ghost cubicle land. The lights were off, the blinds on my sun roof were shut, and no one was in sight. Obviously, this was the perfect opportunity for me to release the office monkey / professional acrobat that stirs in my soul. Yesterday I discovered the long, thin tool that would attach to the stub on the overhead blinds, so I could turn the sucker and open the blinds. Armed with that, I grabbed a stepladder from the supply room, propped it against the side of my cubicle, and discovered to my chagrin that the opener thingie attached to the blinds was missing a little metal hook. I climbed back down and affixed a paper clip to the end of my tool. No go.

I did what any hero would do: I risked life and limb to get the job done. I clambered onto the narrow top of the cubicle, wobbled into a standi…

A Girl Moment

My girl moment occurred early yesterday, when I excitedly texted Boyfriend that we had officially been going out for six months. His response was witty and noncommittal. I suggested we go to dinner. Again, he responded in a very blasé manner. I was devastated. I stomped off to work, fuming at the insensitivity of the male of the species. How could he not know that this was important?

(I assure you, dear reader, six months is important. Why, entire lifetimes of countless insects have gone by in that time!)

I encountered my buddy on gchat and together we decided that I was overreacting. I made reservations at Oleana, left early to vote (rah rah Cambridge City Council rah rah), and called Boyfriend afterwards to remind him to come over soon. "I'm on my way to your place right now," he said, sounding slightly out of breath. I figured he was climbing stairs. A few minutes later, I discovered my door unlocked, and walked in expecting to see my brother, who occasionally stops …

Well, Gee!

The Good News: A group of my coworkers from this floor trooped past me and motioned with their mugs that it was tea time. They invited me along, too! I am now one of the cool kids!

The Bad News: The coffee from Mr. Handsome Silvercakes is crap. My French pressed Whole Foods blend is far superior (nose in air). Fortunately, the green tea is passable.

The Sad News: No admin privileges on my work machine, and I am far too ladylike to haxx0r it so I can use executable files and watch streaming videos. Also, I don't know how to haxx0r this. Yet.

The Awesome News: I'm still here! Ahhh, it's like a dream... (happy dance)

I'm. So. Happy.

Checklist for first day at new job:

Show up on time. = YES
Come in with fly unzipped. = YES
Wear giant obnoxious grin. = YES
Meet new people. Forget their names. = YES
Obsessively organize new workspace. = YES
Space out as people tell you important stuff. = YES
Have serious email and phone problems. = YES
Get assigned a project due next day. = YES
Receive materials from HR. Forget to take home. = YES
Thank God for new job. = YES1000

On this day, the First Day of New Job, I woke up at my usual time, did my stretches while Sheba meowed piteously for affection, and scooted over to Red Line it to my new home away from home. As expected, I have a cubicle, right outside my new boss' office. I barely had time to take a breath before I was taken around to meet a bunch of people on floors 1, 5, and 6, got shut in an office for a conference call, and had to deal with the phone and the email server deciding they hate me. In the middle of it all, I got a pile of reading material for a proposal ("D…

Girl vs Nature

This morning I had some time to kill, so I decided to attack the mold growing on the brim and bottom of the clay pot on my kumquat. I figured it probably wasn't healthy for my cat, whose food bowl is right beside the plant. Aren't I the kindest mommy? ("Maybe you should put the food bowl somewhere else," you say, reasonably. "Shut up," I reply.)

The Google led me to various forums where helpless ordinary folk like myself submitted themselves to their more knowledgeable peers. Now, the point of reading these forums is to find something that resonates with your soul. So when my eyes found the word, "vinegar," I knew this was it. Vinegar is like nature's elixir--you can cook with it, dip food in it, and clean stuff with it! One day I shall invent a recipe for vinegar and banana cake. Don't lie; I know the idea intrigues you.

I poured my tiny remaining amount of Datu Puti* vinegar (note to self: buy new bottle in Chinatown) into a spray bottl…

Me: Computer Mini-Genius

Attention, attention: I HAXX0RED A POWERBOOK G4!!! I is smart!!!

Yes, this is a saga of much irony. You see, a few months ago, I waged battle against our Account Manager for ownership of an abandoned office PowerBook G4. My intentions were noble: I wanted to stick a webcam on it, install Skype, and give it to my mom on her birthday. Hers were dark indeed: she wanted it for her husband. What! you gasp, surely you of the pure heart won this battle! ...Alas, no. I conceded my defeat gracefully, and forgot all about the device.

But Life amuses itself by various means. Today, she (our Account Manager, not Life) came in and asked me to reset the administrator password on the machine. Graciously, I acquiesced and proceeded to haxx0r the living sh*t out of that sucker of a password. And yes, the password clue was a big giant hint, and all I had to do was persist with every single phrase combination I could think of, but the point is I HAXX0RED IT. Like a BOSS. Someone get me a gold medal, I a…

Faceless Employee: The Fog

Tiny pre-comic ramble:

I have a  vivid memory of my parents oohing and aahing over some drawings I did when I was about four or five. I think the drawings had people in them, and possibly a princess and a castle were involved. My parental units had constructive comments, notably that I did a good job with drawing the people's eyebrows to express anger.

Being praised as a kid does wonders for the ol' self-esteem, dunnit?