Monthly Archives: August 2010

Going the Extra Mile

Yes, I can fit another one on top- I think!

Although we’re exactly 29 days away from the first day of Fall Quarter, I am already biting my nails over what’s gonna happen then. My department sent out an email announcing the opening of 6 more classes yesterday morning. When I finally got to my computer that night, only one class was available- also the only one that didn’t conflict at all with my current schedule (maybe it was a sign?), so I signed up for it.

The thing is that I don’t want to give up the one Geography class that I have in the middle of the day and doesn’t count towards my major, or my proposed double major (Women’s Studies). And since I want to double major, I have to make every unit count. In this case, I will either have to drop the Geography class, or take on 4 classes this quarter. But taking 4 classes would also mean more time studying and less time with my wife… Although I know she understands and if I ask, she’ll say “if it’s gonna make you happy go for it,” I feel puzzled as to what to do.

It’s bad enough that I’m hoping I can work two jobs during the quarter and that I really want to do an internship on top of it all. Maybe I need to learn to take it easy this once. Maybe.


A Random Act of Kindness

About a month or so ago my boss decided to make me switch desks. With the switch, I would finally have a decent cubicle. But with the move also came “Chatty Cathy.” I am not even exaggerating. This girl talks from the minute she walks in until the moment she leaves.  I actually wouldn’t be surprised if she talks to herself on the elevator before she gets here (and in her car, while walking…).

Can one girl be a zoo on her own?

In the little time I’ve been sitting close to her, I’ve learned that:

  • she’s a student
  • failing Calculus
  • and moving to Irvine, CA in September
  • who loves cats
  • and hates dogs
  • who doesn’t like hairy men
  • and thinks women are crazy (hopefully she is included in this)
  • who wants twins
  • Shane and Jenna
  • and wants to be cremated when she dies.

TMI, anybody? I’ve never talked to her since I’ve worked here, yet I know more about her than the managers I talk to on a daily basis.

My only upside to this (if you would even call it that) is that she usually comes after 1pm Monday through Thursday and earlier on Friday. So even when Friday she’s an all-day thing, it’s nice to know that she’s not here during the other four mornings. Until today.

She came in a little after I did and once I heard her voice, I almost fainted. It’s Monday- why the heck are you here at 8.10am?!? I quickly went through my bag to get my IPod which I only use on Mondays after 1pm (wonder why?), but when I found the thing, it was dead- and so were my hopes of a quiet morning.

"I feel bad for guys with chest hair because they have to shampoo twice; first their heads and then their chests" -actual quote from my coworker

So I sat on my chair staring intently at my IPod while it was charging, mourning and secretly begging for this girl to shut up- even when I know she never does. I’m dead serious! Someone asked her to be quiet once and she stopped… for about 5 minutes only!

I was already getting used to the idea that this would be a sucky Monday when one of my managers approached my cubicle and said “brownies in the kitchen!” Even though it was barely 8.30am and I know there’s a rule in some country that “Thou shalt not eat any brownies before lunch time,” I still decided to drown my pain with the little square of chocolate. Totally worth it.

The random act of kindness from my boss may not have been enough to make my coworker stop talking, but it sure made me think that maybe this Monday isn’t so sucky after all. And perhaps I won’t jump off the 10th floor anymore. At least not today.


Violence of the Heart

Harry, George, Zeitoun, Napoleon and Charlie. No, those are not my kids names (thankfully) but they are however who I’ve been reading about this summer.

Love shouldn't hurt

I’ve already finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (2007), Zeitoun (2009), and Animal Farm (1945). Babbitt (1922) got lost during the moving but I believe I’m halfway through it. And after I finished Animal Farm this morning, I began reading the Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999).

Before I get to the actual point of this post, I must mention that I can’t believe I’ve been able to read this much this year and I feel blessed for it. I love reading. I don’t think I could ever be who I am without reading.

I decided to read “Perks” next because my wife owns it and I found it while unpacking. Then my best friend Tori, who stayed with us for a week, got to read some of it while she was here. She said it was good so I decided to see what she meant by good.

I had never heard about the book before and I was intrigued by what I did hear of it from Tori. Life seen through the life of a kid- not always easy for me to take. I am always soft when it comes to youngsters… even though I’m still in my early twenties.

I’m not sure if you’ve read this book yet, so forgive me for letting out some details of it in words to come.

I’m in the part where Charlie told his professor that his sister’s boyfriend hit her and his professor then told his parents about it. They asked (forbid) the girl to see the boy again and then her dad went to talk to the boy’s parents.

I can’t remember too much of it but my brother hit this girl he used to date- I don’t know if it happened more than once or how bad he had hit her. I do know the one time I learned about it, it happened because he found out that she was cheating on him. This made me wonder if she was cheating because he was abusive. I asked him about it but he said it wasn’t my business so I will never know what really happened between them.

My mom and my dad got a divorce because my dad was abusive and a cheater. Even if his girlfriend was indeed cheating on him, I couldn’t understand why my brother would hit her. I mean, he hit me a lot when we were younger and live together but this was different- I felt betrayed. He was barely 17, already turning into my dad. They broke up after that night and she moved to Spain not too long after. Last time I heard from her, she’d had a baby already- at 18.

I know that he has been single for a while now and I don’t know if he has ever laid a hand on another girl, I just wish he wouldn’t have ever to begin with. I wish I wouldn’t have that idea of my brother, of my blood. I wish I could speak better of him. He isn’t a terrible guy, but I don’t think you can be called a good guy if you dare to hit your girlfriend.


Addicted to Beginnings

We finally moved! The place still has boxes everywhere and we will have to clean the former place this weekend, but there’s no looking back at this point. As I sat on the brand new living area last night, I found joy in contemplating the new place- like a little kid with a new toy!!

Where should I start?

But this isn’t uncommon or new; this feeling of starting over. Ever since I can remember, having a clean slate has always been a good thing- this applies to a new city, home, school, job, relationship… perhaps to anything that you can put “new” in front of. We are constantly seeking for this feeling of something new. We get excited about it. Sometimes it’s even silly and childish, but satisfying nonetheless.

But in reality nothing changes. We’re still the same person no matter where we go or what we buy. And thanks to that thing called “memory,” we ALWAYS carry our past with us. So why is it that we keep looking for the best next thing? If you ask me, I think that we keep looking outward because it’s easier than looking inward.

I can never get rid of the mistakes I’ve made but I can make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again. A new place may bring things that may seem different, but in reality, they’re just the same as before but now in a different shape or color.

Good, another box done...

I love our new place… because it’s ours, but nothing has really changed. But as a human being, I’m still delirious about the sense of another clean slate- wouldn’t you be?


Things Always Look Better When You’re Little

Although we were stuck on traffic for about three hours, we agreed that anything was better than sweating over conversations with topics like “do you think this will fit in that box too” and “honey, do you really think I’m gonna let you bring that thing to our new apartment?” The weather was also kind to us and once we made it there, the sense of accomplishment made the whole drive worth it.

The reason why she had been wanting to come here was because she used to come to this aquarium every year when she was little. When that tradition stopped when she was about 10 years old, she still held on to that memory of coming here every summer with her family. So needless to say, I was really excited that I could let her relive this whole adventure- and that I was able to share this with her.

But the aquarium wasn’t as big as she remembered and the sharks were less fantastic than they used to be. But we still enjoyed ourselves and I promised her that once we visit my family over Christmas, we’ll make the trip to the Atlanta Aquarium and I’d show her what a real aquarium is supposed to look like (no offense to the Birch, of course).

But isn’t it always like that? I could watch cartoons on endless hours every weekend but now they’re not as funny or interesting as they used to be. And Mac & Cheese aren’t my best pals anymore because they were replaced with Mr.Steak and Mrs. Veggies a long time ago. And don’t even get me started on the parks and the beach and everything else that simply looked better when we were little.


Living in the Era of Lies

Want a raise? You might get one. Some day.

About two years ago I used to work for a car dealership. When I was hired, I was told “you will get $$ starting, but after 3 months, you will be raised to $$$.” This was the reason why I took the job. Not because I love cars, salesmen or the noise of the service department, but because I, like several other people, needed the money to merely survive.

The three months went by and when I inquired about my raise, the HR people simply replied with “we said after 3 months but we didn’t give you an exact date.” You’re damn right you didn’t give me an exact date. I walked out of his office thinking he would do a fine lawyer. And there I was, feeling cheated with by a technicality.

I stayed with the company because $$ was better than no $$ (but not as good as $$$, of course). But I must say that the day I decided to go back to school full time and quit that job, it was very pleasing to turn in my two-week notice. The same HR guy looked at me and said “but why leave now, your raise has almost been approved.” After one year and a half? Really? I smiled politely and said I had a better opportunity I couldn’t let go off.

Now my wife is in the same situation- “Well, your raise could come in two months but it could also be six,” said the HR person to her. Really people? If you’re not wanting or willing to give someone a raise, then don’t lie about it. Just let us work for a wage and not give us hope of something you’re not actually going to offer. But in two months. Or six years.


Same-Sex Marriage in California is Legal Again. For Now.

Gays and Lesbians are allowed to wed in California once again. Which most likely means that the opposition to same-sex marriage is gonna take this to the Supreme Court. On my way to work this morning I wondered, with so many people in need in this and other countries, why on earth do we have so many people wasting money to try and keep rights from others? Food for thought.


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