Monday, December 31, 2007
Anyway, enough of that. I should go to bed, since I have to go to work tomorrow morning. Happy New Year's Eve Eve!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
I have had quite an eventful and exciting break. My vacation got off to a rocking start at 7:45am CDT on Friday, when my flight from Chicago to Des Moines was supposed to take off. At that point, we still hadn't boarded; and due to extreme fog that required the plane to need extra fuel in the case of circling or a redirect, the gate agents were asking half the plane to volunteer to stay behind for a later flight. By 10am, they had canceled the flight entirely, and the agent I spoke to couldn't guarantee me a seat on a flight until the following afternoon. I quickly purchased a daypass to Chicago-O'hare's wifi network, discovered that Hertz was the only rental car company with cars still available, and reserved a Chevy Malibu to take to Iowa. The cost? $200, plus an $0.80 toll every thiry miles or so through most of Illinois - but given that flights from Chicago to Des Moines were canceled several days in a row due to a cascade of bad weather, I'm lucky that I got out when I did.
Less than four hours later, I was just outside Davenport, Iowa, where I met my brother on his lunch break so that I could spend a few hours at his apartment until he got off work. By then, the fog was so thick that I was unable to see the largest truck stop on I-80 until I was a few hundred feet from it. After Michael got off work, we drove back into Davenport so that I could buy some clothes (since my luggage was lost in Chicago), then dropped the rental car off at the Quad Cities Airport in Moline, IL, before heading home. Michael listens to a strange mix of music - in a couple of hours, I managed to hear George Strait, Roxette, and most of the first half of 'Les Miserables'. This was made even more surreal by the fact that you couldn't see more than four seconds ahead on the road, or past the shoulders, and that I had been living in this strange, obscured world for ten hours. I must admit that I engaged in some rather annoying backseat (or in this case, passenger-seat) driving, but the fog was freaking me out. Anyway, we made it home a little before one a.m., where the surreality of the day was completed by watching a rerun of a 1970s dance show called 'Soul Train', which, if it's Iowa's concession to diversity programming, is a rather strange thing to play.
Saturday, I received a Christmas miracle - I was checking on my luggage, and American had no idea where it was, when someone knocked on the door and delivered it. I was impressed that they had delivery people driving seventy miles from the airport on the cusp of blizzard-like conditions (the weather changed from intense fog to intense snow in twenty-four hours), and v. happy to get the Christmas presents that had been sitting in my luggage.
Christmas passed in a four-day blur; Saturday was Christmas with my mom's sister and her family, Sunday was Christmas with the Wamplers at my grandmother's (followed by a rousing game of Apples to Apples with my parents, brother, grandmother, aunt, and the now-almost-respectable scandalous boyfriend), Monday was Christmas Eve with my sister and her kids, and Christmas morning was just for my parents, brother and me. Christmas night, Katie and James came over for a couple of hours, which was v. fun. I spent the rest of the week lazing about, hanging out with my parents, playing 'Civilization', researching my romance novel, and reading up on various blogs and websites about the romance publishing industry.
Now, my vacation's over, and I have to go back to California tomorrow - but I only have twenty-three days in the office before I'm done! I don't know what the future holds (the likelihood that I could finish a manuscript and sell it in six months is slim to none), but I'm excited nonetheless. Not too excited to sleep, though, so I'm going to bed.
Friday, December 21, 2007
where I shall spend copious amounts of time in the bosom of my family.
Air travel is really not an enjoyable experience, but given that my
last flight was a twenty hour flight back from India, my expectations
have been greatly diminished already. As long as we don't sit on the
runway for a dozen hours, it can't be as bad as my last trip. Then
again, I have probably doomed myself, so I will stop typing before I
say anything that will make my doom even worse. I'll blog again from
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Today was quite a lovely day. It's my mother's birthday (happy birthday, Mom!), so I talked to her and Dad briefly this evening. I'm leaving for home in forty-eight hours, which is v. exciting. I love Christmas, and I'm quite eager for it this year; it will just be nice to relax at home and see the family (and hopefully Katie, the queen of my heart).
Today is also Vidya's birthday (happy birthday, Vidius Chandicus!). I actually skipped my team's offsite to go up to the city and see her - that's rather unlike me, to prioritize friends over work, but I feel that birthdays are important. Also, one of the pivotal scenes in 'The Devil Wears Prada' is where the girl skips her boyfriend's birthday because of a last-minute work function, and since I'm making an active attempt not to turn into that girl, I feel that I should start now. However, the city was a bit of a jhoke, as usual. It took an hour and a half to get there due to molasses traffic. Because of the traffic, we missed the seven p.m. showing of the movie we wanted to watch, so we decided to get crepes. We sat at the crepe place for ten minutes, but the guy who makes the crepes had disappeared and never came back, and the cashier was too untalented to take his place, so we left without getting crepes. By the time we got to the movie theater, the movie was sold out, and since we didn't get tickets, we couldn't validate our parking, so we had to pay $2 for the ten minutes we were at the theatre.
However, the night was redeemed when Vidya took me to a nice Italian restaurant (where I forgot to take my wallet in from the car, which means I pulled the classy move of making the birthday girl pay for dinner). It was actually probably better than seeing a movie, since it gave us the chance to catch up, and it was quite lovely to hang out. It's probably sad for Vidya that she had to spend her birthday alone with the likes of me, but I had fun regardless! After dinner, I dropped her off at Julie's boyfriend's apartment, and Julie came outside and spent fifteen minutes talking to us while I was illegally parked on the side of the street. I just got home fifteen minutes ago, and I should really sleep - I had thought that I could go in late tomorrow, but I found out at the end of the day that I have to present to the managers' meeting at 9am tomorrow (for only seven minutes - what a waste!), so I should get some rest.
One last thing - I had a call with Lauren this afternoon (my old manager, now located in Boston). She said something really nice, but kind of bittersweet - apparently she was talking to a new manager in that office about my upcoming leave, and the woman was basically asking why I was leaving, since my job is such a great opportunity. And Lauren said that it was too bad about the job, but that she was glad I was taking time off because her impression was that I used to have such a rich life outside of work (since she heard about such ridiculous tings as the opium lounge club/'shrimp or feet' game, the various mafia ski trips, and all sorts of random exploits with a wide variety of friends), but that because of the series of crushing deadlines I've had for the past six months, I haven't had time for any of it. And that's really true - while the main goal of my break is to finish my novel, I hope that it also gives me time to reconnect with all the friends whom I'm in danger of losing, even if it has to be over IM from the wilderness of Middle America. I want to get back to the point where I have more frequent adventures, even if an adventure is just eating the foot of some random animal drenched in mystery sauce.
Adventures will have to wait another month - but my last official day is February 1. Then, I'm going to go on my company's trip to Disneyland on February 4-6, and just not come back from Disneyland. Doesn't that sound like a good plan?
Monday, December 17, 2007
I'm too tired to write much, and I desperately need to go to bed, since I have an eight a.m. meeting. The reason I'm tired is that I stayed up late last night reading a Georgette Heyer novel - 'The Unknown Ajax', in which the leading man pretends to be stupid to annoy his relatives, since they didn't want him to inherit the estate, but it turns out that he's really quite smart and cunning, and he succeeds in wooing the woman he falls in love with (we shall ignore that she is his first cousin, which seems like a bad idea). I had to get up this morning for brunch with Lauren (aka Subz), which was well worth the lack of sleep. Then I went shopping, came home, and made twenty dozen cookies, with a break to go over to Laura's and make gift tags. If I had wanted to get done with the cookies faster, I should have just signed the cards I had already bought, but she was quite intent on having me craft with her, and it was v. relaxing. Now, though, it's really time for bed!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I'm sorry for not blogging this week - it hasn't been all that bad from a work standpoint, but I haven't felt great either. I went to the doctor on Wednesday morning and discovered that I had broken a blood vessel in my right ear on the flight back from Hyderabad, which explained why I had been feeling dizzy and nauseated ever since. The good news is that it heals on its own, and I'm already feeling much better than I did several days ago. Wednesday night, I had dinner with Terry, which was nice. Thursday, I had an all-day management offsite in San Mateo; I sat in the back and made obnoxious comments to Gyre for most of the day, which was enjoyable. I also had a fun moment where, during the vice president's Q&A at the beginning of the day, someone asked him a question and he gave me thirty-second warning that he was going to have me answer it as well - I was the only person during the entire hour that he asked to stand up and give a supplementary answer, which was exciting, and also a reminder that I'm seriously struggling between my heart's desire to follow a literary path and my avaricious, status-hungry need to be high-profile and super successful. Ugh.
Last night was not good; I got home late, went promptly to bed, and then woke up at one a.m. from the jetlag and didn't get back to sleep until almost five. I made it into work by 9ish, and since my team switched floors yesterday, nothing was unpacked or set up properly, which made the morning more difficult. I stayed until around seven tonight, came home, ate a sandwich and read an Italian dessert cookbook, accidentally fell asleep, and then woke up and revived myself with some homemade hot chocolate. Then Vidya came over, and you know the rest. I hope to spend the weekend completing my recovery from my Hyderabad trip, getting through my Christmas shopping, and generally relaxing on my last weekend before the holidays. I leave for Iowa on Thursday night, and there's much to be done before then! For now, though, I should go to sleep.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Today, I woke up still suffering from the ravages of the cold that I came down with in Hyderabad, and so I called in sick. I watched some television in the morning, slept for three hours in the afternoon, and did some laundry. After talking to my parents tonight, I decided to go to the grocery store to get some stuff for a potluck we're having at work tomorrow afternoon, but my efforts to leave the house may have been overzealous - I felt v. weak in the grocery store, and now have a smashing headache, so we'll see if I make it into the office tomorrow. However, I just counted, and I only have 31 working days left before I go on leave! Even though I really just want to go on leave right now, I can surely survive that. Now, though, I'm going to go to bed in the hope that I can make it to the office tomorrow. Goodnight!
Saturday, December 08, 2007
cold medicine, standing in a really poorly organized line that looks
like it will take at least thirty minutes to clear. The flight from
hyderabad was enough to test my patience in humanity. Also, my ears
won't pop because of my cold, and so I was in mild agony on both
takeoff and landing, and now I can't hear properly. But other than
that, and the fact that I have another ten hour flight ahead of me,
things are good! I'll post again when I get to America...
Friday, December 07, 2007
favorite places in the entire world, waiting for my flight home. I had
a fantastic time in the East, but I am definitely glad to be going
home...my meetings were productive but exhausted, and I wish I could
have more than a day to recover before going back to work on Monday.
I will post a wrapup of my trip and pictures in a few days, but I
should get ready to board now. Goodnight!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Today was a much better day than yesterday. My blackberry was safe and sound; I'd left it in the car, and Shadie picked it up and kept it for me. The meetings today went really well, and while I am quite ill, the cold medicine really helped. Then, we had dinner at the Novotel, which is where I stayed last summer while in Hyderabad, and the dinner was nice. It's been good to spend a few days with Darragh, since I haven't talked to him as much as my role has morphed over the past few months, and in general the group of people I'm here with is really great.
Tomorrow, we have to sit in the room all day and discuss more stuff, and then I have to present to the VP when he dials in to get our end-of-summit findings in the afternoon, so I suppose I probably shouldn't take my cold medicine tomorrow morning. Then, we'll have to finish packing and will likely have dinner before going to the airport for the trip home. I can't believe my time in Hyderabad is over already...and I'm leaving for Iowa two weeks from today! That thought alone exhausts me, given how much I have to do between now and then. So, in an effort to make sure that I stay caught up on sleep enough to make sure that I'm able to be effective for the next few days, I think it's time to go to bed.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
The worst, though, is that I had a moment at work this afternoon where I was so angry that I could barely contain my rage - I don't lose my temper very often, but I nearly lost it in a v. spectacular manner this afternoon, and it took several hours for me to recover. In fact, I ended up calming down partially because I left the session I was in to go down to the cafe and get a mocha from the Coffee Day vendor, and partially because I occasionally tuned out of the discussion to focus on tearing a gum wrapper into incredibly small pieces. It also helped to remind myself that I'm going on leave and won't have to deal with the consequences of anything that happens here, which in and of itself helped to lend a lot of clarity to some of the thoughts I've had recently about what I intend to do in the next few months.
It did remind me, however, of the articles I've read about how if a woman shows anger in the workplace, she's seen as a bitch and is rated as less effective than any other type of employee, even below the woman who cries at the office. Today was definitely one of those days when I wasn't particularly effective because I wasn't able to behave in a fully rational manner...but sometimes rationality is overrated, and sometimes you just want to break stuff, and I was still able to hold it together. I also got a break because I went out for dinner with Shadie and Joel, both of whom happened to be in Hyderabad today, and neither of whom have anything to do with today's debacle. Joel was my first full-time manager here, and it was great to see him - one of the last times I saw him was for five minutes in the Frankfurt airport in April, so it was nice to have dinner with him, even if it's going to give me typhoid.
Okay, I'm going to go to bed - hopefully I'll get lots of rest and then wake up on my own, since I don't have my alarm clock/best friend to shake me out of my slumber. Luckily the incessant noise in India will probably do the trick. Now, though, it's time for bed!
Monday, December 03, 2007
After working, we came back to an apartment and had a fun time trying to order Dominos - we couldn't find a brochure, but luckily the Madhapur Dominos is in Google. Then, we discovered that the apartment phones can't dial out, and none of us have India cellphones - so we used Skype on Sean's laptop to call India from the US at 10 cents/minute. This resulted in bad voice quality, which made the ordering experience even more stressful than usual, but it all turned out okay.
My mother will also be pleased to note that we had a woman come to the apartment and do henna/mehndi tattooing - if she's lucky, my hands and feet will still be lavishly decorated at Christmas! It probably won't last that long, but I'm hopeful :) If nothing else, I will look v. exotic for the opening presentation that I have to give to our department VP tomorrow morning. Speaking of that presentation, I should really go to bed - the jetlag has been surprisingly good for me, but I hope to get some sleep tonight so that I'm ready to go bright and early tomorrow morning. Goodnight!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
bazaars, and malls of Hyderabad. None of the new visitors to the city
wanted to do the tourist stuff, like the museum or Golconda Fort, and
Jenni and I had seen it all before, so we instead dragged them to all
of our favorite stores and restaurants. Today, we had a long brunch at
the Taj Krishna, where Dominic the waiter recognized me on
sight...pretty good since I have only been there twice in the past two
years, although I went every Sunday when I was living here. I still
haven't bought any bedspreads (the store I wanted to go to was closed
today), but I did buy some fabulous anklets. I also bought some
unnecessary bangles off of a kid who followed us around in the side
streets off of Charminar, mainly so that I could give him some money.
I also bought a gold bangle...I can never have too many bracelets, so
my Christmas bracelet wish still stands, but I found a lovely one in a
jewelry shop this afternoon. Then we had coffee, followed by dinner at
Angeethi, my favorite Indian restaurant, so I am quite satisfied.
I would blog more about my thoughts, but I am still on the crackberry.
I will blog tomorrow when I get access to the real internet at the
office. Until then, goodnight!
Saturday, December 01, 2007
which means we can't go back to the apartments, so we are shopping
instead. Within an hour of starting, I had bought a rug, but I haven't
bought anything else, so it's almost like I am behaving myself! More
Friday, November 30, 2007
as I remembered it...as we drove back to the apartments, the streets
were quiet, and everything was muted by a haze of smog and dust, but
it also felt like I hadn't left. We were picked up by Jaffer, who was
one of the main drivers when I was here, and it contributed to the
feeling that this is a homecoming of sorts.
However, I am not very efficient typing this on my crackberry, and it
is almost five am here...one girl we were traveling with lost her
luggage, so the ridiculously long ordeal to wait for bags took even
longer, and it was almost two hours after we landed before we finally
left the airport. So, it's time for bed!
that I was overworked this week, I managed to sleep almost the entire
way here...and now I need to get on another ten hour flight to India!
That's the only update for now...I will write again when I get to the
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Even though I'm exhausted, I'm suddenly excited about my trip to Hyderabad tomorrow. While I will likely spend most of it working, I am just excited to see the city again, to sleep in the apartments (I'm staying in the one that my friends Regina and Rohit lived in when we were all there two years ago), to go into the office, to shop for bedspreads (!) - to experience the thrill and mystery and unsettling strangeness of the East. Regardless of what happens in the rest of my life, the six months I spent in India will hold a special place in my heart, and there will always be a part of me that longs to go back.
However, the preparations for getting there have been misery-inducing. I worked until 3:30 a.m. yesterday, and decided to skip my 8am and 9am meetings so that I could get five hours of sleep. I then had meetings straight through from 10am to 7:30pm, with a 40 minute break that I had to use to get back to a bunch of people who were waiting on me for stuff. I came home tonight, packed, and then worked until now, but it's time to throw in the towel.
My flight leaves at 3:30pm tomorrow, and I have meetings from 9-12, so I'm looking forward to getting on the plane and being forced to disconnect for awhile. However, I am sure that I will blog while I am overseas. Wish me luck on my journey!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
However, the thing about broken records is that they can't really be fixed. The best you can do is frame them and hang them on the wall, or use them to kill zombies like in 'Shaun of the Dead' (interestingly, my high school classmate who lives in London is married to the guy who was killed by a record in 'Shaun of the Dead').
So the point I'm trying to make in my rambling way is that while I have the best of intentions about what I write here, I find it v. hard not to complain about my workload. Particularly on days like today, where I had meetings pretty much straight from 10am to 8:30pm, and then I came home and worked from 9:15 until half past midnight. And especially in anticipation of days like tomorrow, when I have meetings from 9:30 to 6, and then a project that I have to finish tomorrow night that is suspiciously similar to those LSAT logic problems (such as 'Tim can sit next to Mary, but cannot sit next to the person who is less than twice the age of his cat, unless the cat has one white paw'). I also have to do laundry sometime tomorrow night, since I have meetings until 7:30pm on Wednesday, and I have to pack Wednesday night since I'm leaving for Hyderabad on Thursday.
However, so far I haven't really complained about my week - in fact, you could theoretically assume that since I'm masochistic and bring much of this on myself, perhaps I'm actually having a great week! Only time will tell. But, I predict that when I get on the plane Thursday afternoon, put on my noise-cancelling headphones, my neck pillow, and my face mask, and take a few extra-drowsy dramamine, I will be dead to the world. Until then, there is much to do, so I should go to bed. Goodnight!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Around 1pm, Vidya called and decided to come over, and I thought it would be appropriate to make chocolate chip chewies, which I haven't made in months. Claude and I ran around the corner to buy eggs, and I made cookies while Vidya laid on the floor under my big down comforter nursing her mysteriously sore neck. This detail is not necessary, but I include it for the people who read my blog to keep track of Vidya - she had a nice weekend as well, with a fun Thanksgiving dinner, some extreme socializing/dancing on Friday night, and now a mysteriously stiff neck which seemed to be causing her an annoying degree of pain. Anyway, we hung out for a couple of hours and ate a lot of cookie, at which point Vidya and Claudia both left.
Upon being left to my own devices, I talked to my parents for awhile, as is my Sunday afternoon tradition. I also talked to my brother for a little bit, which is much more unusual, but not unwelcome. Then, I talked to Katie for the first time in a couple of months - it was great to catch up with her, and I enjoyed laughing at her expense as we discussed how the worst romance novel in the history of English letters ('The Prince of Midnight' by Laura Kinsale, in which the hero is half-deaf, suffers from ridiculous vertigo that almost kills him on a boatride across the Channel, and keeps a wolf named Nemo as his pet - and which I found out inexplicably got 4.5 stars on Amazon, which proves that humanity is in decline) was one of the few things that Katie managed to save when she fled New Orleans in advance of Hurricane Katrina. I found another copy of it in a used bookstore here a few weeks ago, as though I had been drawn to it - but with Fabio's magnetic masculinity emblazoned on the cover, how could I not be lured in? Anyway, it was quite lovely to talk to her, and we spent a few minutes indulging in plans to someday live in the same town, turn into Lorena and Jackie, and generally have wildly-eccentric and amusing lives.
I spent the rest of the night running errands, taking care of some stuff that I need to do before going to Hyderabad, and trying on my Christmas party dress and inviting Oniel to go with me. The party is the night that I get back from Hyderabad, so I probably won't need to drink because I'll be so strung out on jetlag. I'm both looking forward to and dreading the trip - looking forward because I have a lot of friends over there, I like Hyderabad, and I like the group that I'm going with, but dreading because it's a really long trip, I don't deal well with jetlag, and I have a lot to do both before and after I go. However, now is not the time to complain - I'm going regardless, and I'm sure that as soon as I get there, I'll be v. excited. For now, though, I should go to bed. Goodnight!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
On Wednesday, I had a decent day of work and managed to stop around 6:30, whereupon I left the office and met up with Claudia at our favorite Mexican restaurant. You may remember Claudia as my bestest friend who moved to Yale, abandoning me to my fate in California - I realized that since she left, I stopped socializing, mostly because she was one of the few people who would call me and force me to do something. She's back in town for Thanksgiving, so we had a lovely time catching up over delicious Mexican food. I'm happy to report that she has not yet been stabbed in New Haven, despite the town's atrocious crime rate, and so I'm holding out hope that we'll be able to spend more time together at New Year's.
Today, I went to Milpitas, where I had brunch with Arod at Marie Callendar's. I love that place - the clientele is generally on the darker side of seventy, but the food is v. comforting. I realized I hadn't seen Arod since a bunch of us went up to Heather and Salim's at the end of September, which is just depressing - we even work for the same company, but since we're not in the same department or in the same part of campus, I never ever see her. It was great to see her, and she's yet another person whom I'll have to spend more time hanging out with when I finally go on leave.
I did some stuff around the house this afternoon that I had meaning to take care of for awhile, and I went to the post office and mailed some stuff and bought stamps, but my plans to work on my romance novel met with dismal failure. The root of the dismal failure was my inability to stop playing Civilization IV - I don't play that often, but I've been in the mood for the past couple of days (astute readers will chalk it up to procrastination, since I'm playing Civilization and not working on my novel). I played the Mongolians tonight, in honor of the trip my father and I hope to take this spring, and I had a fantastic game in which I won the space race v. narrowly against the Romans. Yes, I am a complete dork - Civilization and romance novels pretty much hit two rather unrelated sections of 'socially unacceptable' behavior, making me an even bigger dork than if I only pursued one of those interests. Oh, well, normalcy would be rather boring. However, I need to dig up some willpower and not play the rest of the weekend - I have plans tomorrow afternoon and Sunday morning, but I should spend the rest of the time writing. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Today was fine, but I've had a stomach ache for a couple of days. If nothing else, I need to take time off so that I will start taking better care of myself, and perhaps (no promises!) break my intense diet coke addiction. Only time will tell on the second part of that dream, but I think I would naturally take better care of myself if I wasn't stressed all the time (thus stopping my stress-eating), and if I got enough sleep (which will only happen when I stop working and having stress-nightmares).
This isn't to say that my job is all bad, however - there are projects that I rally like, and I love the people I work with, I just have about twenty more projects than I really should have. I described it to someone tonight as the same feeling you get when you eat too much ice cream - it's fun and tasty and you keep piling on more, until your brain freezes and you feel sick to your stomach.
Then again, perhaps the better metaphor would be an abusive relationship - I tend to respond well to praise (which I've been getting a nice quantity of recently, in addition to getting promoted), and so even though I know this job is bad for me and I need to follow my other dreams and escape to freedom and look out for myself and my health and sanity, I keep having the typical abused/dependent thoughts of 'How will they survive without me?' and 'What if no one else wants me?' and 'They're really not so bad, it's my fault for not setting limits' and 'I should just suck it up for the kids' (in this case, my coworkers/team). Ugh.
I think I'll go to bed, where I hopefully won't have any nightmares. The four-day weekend starts tomorrow night! Yay!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
But, I felt the need to wish my father a happy birthday online - I called him earlier today, but I felt that he deserved an e-shoutout. Happy birthday Daddy! Granted, it's no longer his birthday in any time zone in which we live, but I only missed the e-shoutout by a couple of minutes. Given tat the e-shoutout is free, and he apparently expects that I'm going to cost him thousands of dollars over the next few months, hopefully he'll forgive me.
Okay, that's all - it's going to be a rough week, particularly if I want to get through enough stuff so that I can plausibly and logically not do any work over Thanksgiving weekend, which is the goal. Wish me luck!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
i've got this sentimental heart that beats, but i don't really mind that it's starting to get to me now
Now that it's official, though, it still feels a little unreal - I haven't taken six months off from anything since the day that I started preschool (and that was something I was so eager to start that I got up and ready to go a day early, as I recall, and was horribly disappointed to find that I would have to wait until Tuesday - I was a Tuesday Tiger, and not a Monday Monkey, at the every-other-day church-run preschool that I went to). So, I find myself both excited and unsure about my upcoming leave. Mostly excited, of course, but also unsure what I will discover about myself. I'm hoping that I discover that I do have the discipline necessary to finish my novel, and that I'm capable of relaxing from my professional stresses while also focusing intensely on the creative aspects of my life. However, it's also possible (even though the possibility feels remote) that I will find myself horribly bored and missing the challenges and triumphs of corporate America - I am, after all, a good little capitalist at heart, and so the more Puritanical side of me sees giving up a steady job to write romance novels as a rather silly thing to do. But, I also feel that I can make money writing them someday, which is keeping the capitalist in me quiet for now.
Anyway, this weekend was so-so - I spent five hours in the office yesterday afternoon, which was super annoying, but I also had brunch at Mike's Cafe and spent some time contemplating my novel. This afternoon, I went to a tea place in Palo Alto and had a couple of pots of tea and some delicious (albeit overpriced) tea sandwiches and crumpets while working on my romance novel. I wrote ~2400 words, which is close to ten pages, in less than three hours. At that rate, it would take me twenty three-hour days to finish my novel. Given that 700-1000 words/hour seems to be my standard pace, it seems quite conceivable that I could write a romance novel in a month, start to finish, even with additional time spent plotting.
However, I'm going to have to do some significant editing; I reread a lot of my earlier stuff tonight, and since I've been writing this in fits and starts over the course of three years, details keep changing - particularly pesky little things like the number of siblings each of them has, or the occasional disappearance and reappearance of Amelia's friend. It's going to take some reworking to make sure the narrative voice is consistent throughout the book, and also some careful editing to fix the little inconsistencies. But overall, I'm fairly pleased - it's certainly in the top half of all of the romance novels I've read, even in its unfinished form. Whether that says something about the quality of my writing, or instead is an indicator of the overall state of the romance genre, remains to be seen.
It would be nice if my leave was starting right now - my boss still hasn't set a date, and instead has been lavishing praise on me for a variety of projects, which is making me wonder if he's going to try to convince me to stay. I'm going to remain firm, though...I just have to know if this dream is something I can turn into a life, and this is the best time to figure that out. If nothing else, I won't starve to death - and I told my mother that, for Christmas, I was considering giving her and my father an IOU for a couple of months of my company in early 2008. Isn't that a lovely present? They're so lucky to have a thoughtful daughter like me :)
Friday, November 16, 2007
I made a tactical error, though - I sent an email to my 80+ closest friends at work, saying that I was taking a leave of absence to write a romance novel. Given that my 80+ closest friends include people who are either based in other offices around the world, or people who are as addicted to work as I am, I've already gotten five responses and three IM conversations as a result, so I'm going to go to bed or else I'll be here for awhile. However, my former director in Hyderabad offered to pay me 500 rupees to make him the cover model, and while 500 rupees is around ten dollars, that's a lot of money for a starving writer. So, I may have to take him up on it. But for now, it's time for bed!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
But, I have news! It's official at work now - I'm taking six months off starting sometime at the end of January or beginning of February to write my romance novel and make some decisions about what I want to do with the rest of my life. It's still unclear as to the exact date when this will start, or where I will spend the majority of that time, but it's safe to say I'm v. excited. However, it was really hard to tell my team - in fact, when the time came in our meeting yesterday, I almost threw up because it came much sooner in the mtg than I anticipated, and it was a hard thing to do. But, in general, I'm excited.
I'm also excited because I had some Super Bubble bubblegum today - it's weird how taste evokes memory. I found a piece in the microkitchen at work, took it without really thinking, and popped it into my mouth - and when I bit down and released the flavor, for a split second I was eight years old, sitting in my grandparents' store and chewing Super Bubble while reading a Nancy Drew book. It was so fast and so real and so fleeting that it made my heart ache just a little - a feeling that I had to brutally shove aside even before the gum lost its flavor (which takes about five minutes) because I was on my way to another meeting. I'm looking forward to taking some time off and living again so I can create more of those intense memories - but right now, it's time for bed.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Today, I woke up late, and then saw 'The Darjeeling Limited' for the second time, this time with Vidya and Oniel. I was pleased that they seemed to like it, and we generally had a good time. They came back to my apartment for a bit, where Vidya and I had tea and Oniel had a coke, and we had a lovely and pleasant discussion until Vidya called Oniel 'Fauxneil', which he doesn't like, and so he stole her shoe as he left. However, he left it in the mailbox, so all was well. Then, Vidya and I watched 'The Office' before she went off to a barbecue - I was quite happy to stay behind, given it was dark and cold, which is not a good condition for a barbecue.
Tonight, I finally got down to the work I'd been avoiding all weekend around 9:30pm, and I worked until now. And now, it's definitely time to go to bed - this week is going to be brutal, as usual, so wish me luck.
Friday, November 09, 2007
The favorite thing of all that I watched was Monday's episode of 'Chuck', the show on NBC featuring a cute geek turned government operative due to the national secrets lodged in his head. Part of the backline of the series is that Chuck was kicked out of Stanford for cheating, which he didn't do. In this episode, he returned to Stanford to find a secret hidden by a professor in the Stanford library. The geography of the Stanford campus is nothing like what was portrayed in the show, but it was kind of fun to imagine that the CIA was recruiting spies out of regular Stanford classes. Particularly since apparently Chuck would have been in my class, given the dates shown on the flashbacks. Sigh. I don't know if my life would be better if I was in the CIA, but it would certainly be more interesting.
I also caught up on past episodes of 'Scrubs', '30 Rock', and 'The Office', so I've cleared out what I typically Tivo on NBC. I need to watch 'Pushing Daisies' and 'Boston Legal' next, as well as the vampire show on CBS, but those will have to wait for another time. Right now, I'm exhausted and going to go to bed, where I will hopefully sleep for at least ten hours. Goodnight!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Yes, I"m complaining, but it's just sad because I would have liked to have come home at a reasonable hour and worked on my romance novel. Instead, I came home at nine and did some vital stuff, and now I'm going to bed without being even close to done with my task list, which means I have to get up super early and go in to get some stuff done. Ugh. Luckily this state won't last forever. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in two weeks? Impossible!
However, there is a bit of good going on - for example, I ordered an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to plug into my laptop at home, which I'm using right now, and I think that it will be good for keeping myself from getting carpal tunnel in the future. However, it's clear how ridiculously entitled people feel at work - when I left yesterday, I was carrying a big box from Amazon containing the keyboard, and a couple of the people who asked me what was in the box expressed amazement that I didn't just steal one from work. Now granted, I take lots of drinks (since diet coke is my lifeblood), and a completely unnecessary and accidental number of pens have migrated to my house over the past few years, but taking a keyboard seems to be beyond the pale. Maybe I'm just not taking full advantage of my resources. Now, though, it's time for bed - wish me luck tomorrow, I need it :(
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
However, I had quite a lovely evening. I left work around six-fifteen, and met Vidya at Starbucks, where we caught up with each other after a v. long hiatus. After checking my blog, I realized that I hadn't actually seen her and talked to her much in over three weeks, which is v. depressing. So, it was nice to have some alone time with her before going to dinner with the crew. We went to Olive Garden, which is an entertaining choice since there are many good restaurants in the general vicinity that aren't chains, but a fun time was had by all. Sri, Adit, and Vidya were there, as well as three of Sri's other friends.
I'm glad that Adit pulled this together - it's been way too long since I've seen my friends. I've been in a rather hermitlike mood for upwards of six months - ever since I started working really hard after coming back from vacation in Ukraine, really, with a brief descent/ascent into friendship again during the period around Claude's departure when we were all making an effort to hang out. The rest of the time, though, I've been so stressed at work and so in need of some downtime/ time to write/ whatever that I ended up avoiding (or, at least, not seeking out) my friends. In retrospect, this was not really wise - while I don't remember most of my solitary times, I have a fantastic and fond set of memories related to my friends, and it would be nice to keep adding to those. So, tonight was good for adding to the memories, and I'm still happy from it, even if I cam home and worked from ten until midnight. Also, Sri is a particularly great guy, and I'm glad that I got to celebrate one waypoint in his voyage to finding employment, even if the worst is yet to come for him.
Now I should really go to bed so that I can make it into the office for another endless string of meetings. Goodnight!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
The 'rules', of course, do not stop me from dressing as I please - I had my Q3 performance review today with my manager (also a director, and so one of the most powerful people in my department), and while I wore a somber black top and dark grey wool skirt, I accessorized the outfit with knee-high boots and green tights. Snazzy, eh?
The review went pretty well; most of it was really positive, which is nice, particularly since I have been working my ass off the past few months. The areas of 'constructive' feedback (which, since I'm self-critical, I always term 'things I suck at') were around my people management skills, which I initially found surprising - I feel that I have generally good relationships with my team and with my peers. However, after some quick reflection post-review, it makes sense - while I really like my team and feel like they like me back, I am not the most patient person in the world. And even though I idealize and idolize people who are able to strike exactly the right note when it comes to reading peoples' feelings, getting buy-in, etc., I am also very numbers/facts focused, and so I'm not easily swayed by peoples' feelings - I need to see evidence and make rational decisions, rather than changing my mind just because someone is upset. That's not exactly the warmest way to deal with things, and it's helped me to get a lot done, but I recognize that I risk alienating people or not doing enough to convince them because I tend to think I'm right about things.
The problem is that generally I am right about things, which is a horribly obnoxious thing to say, but in practice is often true. And so I can't really complain that I got feedback about it, because the feedback was completely accurate - it's more that I'm not sure how much energy I want to devote to changing myself. I do want to have a really strong and great rapport with my team, so I'm willing to make changes that will help them to feel more secure and supported, but I don't really see a lot of value in trying to build true consensus across dozens of managers on every single decision that I make. Or maybe I'm just being lazy, who knows.
Anyway, as I said, the review was good, but the crux of the issue is that I would rather be working on my romance novel than improving my business acumen, so we'll see what happens. Now, though, I should go to bed and save up my strength - I'm having dinner with friends tomorrow night to celebrate the end of this stage of Sri's thesis, and Adit will be there, which means I need all the energy I can get. I hope he's happy I referenced him! Now, it's time for bed.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Amazingly, in the past two days, I have read two books. Real books, not romance novels (not to disparage the genre in which I intend to write, but I still have a love for 'real books'). Last night, I left work early, got a facial, and read 'Gentlemen of the Road' by Michael Chabon. He wrote 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay', which I need to go back and finish - I started reading it in the autumn of 2004, was in love with it, and then promptly became extremely depressed over the thread of the narrative in which one of the characters lost his family in the Holocaust and abandoned the book in favor of watching a marathon of 'The O.C.' Lame. Anyway, 'Gentlemen of the Road' was shorter, but quite beautiful - it follows two superficially-dissimilar, but similarly lonely men as they scheme together through various adventures and misadventures in Jewish Khazaria (now the area around the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea). In short, I loved it, and I want to read it again since I typically find that books which I love for their language are often even better on subsequent readings.
Today, I went to Mike's for breakfast, and then spent a few hours at Mike's and at Starbucks reading 'Tales of Moonlight and Rain' by Ueda Akinari. I had received this book from my parents for Christmas a year or two ago and had never gotten around to reading it, but I really enjoyed it. The book is a collection of short stories published in 1776 in Edo Japan, all of which have some supernatural/spiritual element. This translation included fairly detailed footnotes and introductions for each story, as well as a longer overall introduction to the history of the writer, the genre of literature, and the social context of Edo Japan. I had learned much of the social/literary context in my 'History of Japanese Pop Culture' class in college, and so it was a nice refresher to read the intro - and now I have a longing to go to Japan, see the shrines and the countryside, and experience a culture that I can never actually be a part of.
Speaking of alien cultures, I spent the evening with Subz (aka Lauren) watching 'The Darjeeling Limited'. I had wanted to see it for awhile, but I'm glad I saw it with Lauren - since we were in India together, and since Wes Anderson has such a passion for minute details, it was nice to watch and notice all of the little things that he got so perfectly. The movie was really good - not as funny, necessarily, as some of his other stuff, but heartbreaking in a good way. We went out for drinks and appetizers afterwards, and spent a couple of hours catching up, which was lovely.
Now, though, I think I'll go to bed - I have work to do tomorrow, and Monday will come all too soon. Goodnight!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
However, I stayed at work really late getting stuff done, and so did not partake in the usual Halloween revelry. I don't know why I say 'usual' - I haven't partaken in Halloween revelry since college, really, at least not on Halloween night. But anyway, I slogged, then came home, and now I'm going to bed. The week's already half over, which is unbelievable. Goodnight!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Or, perhaps it was from breathing the fumes of the mask that I made for my Halloween costume as I tried to figure out a way to affix it to my face. I don't think I can wear it much tomorrow, since it's rather heavy and difficult to talk through, but it will look good, so I suppose that's all that matters.
Today was a fine day at work - is it bad that I was happy that one of my direct reports was sick, since it meant I could reschedule our 1:1 and have one free hour during the day? Tomorrow promises to be more of the same - lots of meetings, starting at eight a.m., followed by the company Halloween party in the afternoon, followed by a vain attempt by me to get through the crushing amount of email still waiting in my inbox. The thought is making my headache get worse, so I think it's time for bed!
My parents left around 3:30 to drive back to Iowa, and I spent the rest of the afternoon at Laura's, making a papier-mache toucan beak for my Halloween costume. Today, I slogged at the office until after nine p.m., came home, painted my mask, and then worked from 10-12. I also had a lovely chat with my friend Adit, who is really everything that one could want in a friend - yes, he pressured me to write about him in this blog, but he is v. endearing despite (or perhaps because of) his need for affection. He had told me that he was going to stay with me tonight, and then dashed my hopes by finding accommodation with Sri, but it was still nice to talk to him on the phone for a bit. Now, though, I should really go to bed - this week is going to be hellish, and I need to maintain a bit of my well-restedness from the past few days. Goodnight!
Friday, October 26, 2007
I made it to the airport in time to pick my parents up. In fact, I was early enough that I had time to read some of the book I brought with me - it's called 'Regency Etiquette', and is a reprint of an early 1800's book called 'The Mirror of Graces'. It was kind of depressing, actually; the authoress is rather annoying, and at one point she said something about how there are some girls who have little to recommend them physically (i.e. they're ugly), but a good mother will point out one of her own, hopefully uglier, friends who has managed to marry a guy because she is sweet and amiable, and use this to show the girl that it's possible to get married as long as she bends over backwards to be appealing in other ways. Great advice! There are also some awesome early-1800s cosmetics recipes in the back, which I shall perhaps reproduce for you one day.
After my parents arrived, we went to Peter's Cafe (best place on Earth!) in downtown Millbrae for a late lunch. Then we chilled at my place for awhile, before I took them into my office and gave them an abbreviated tour. They managed to meet all three of my directors at the same time, and two of the three directors gave them a hard time for encouraging me to move back to Iowa someday, which I found amusing. Then, we had dinner on campus with Laura, since she had expressed interest in meeting them. It was quite entertaining - I really like Laura and my parents, and they all seemed to get along rather well, even as it became apparent that Wamplers everywhere are known for being stubborn, sarcastic, and slyly manipulative, as well as suicidally independent and socially disengaged. My dad even quoted Harvey Danger's line 'I've been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding', and I was even more amused wheN Laura said that I think that too, even though I don't think I've overtly expressed that sentiment, so I guess it comes across even though I don't mean it to. Oh well, I didn't want to be friends with most of humanity anyway.
Now I should really go to bed - given the time change and my parents' already absurd sleep patterns, they'll probably wake up around 3am, and since I'm sleeping on the couch and they have my bedroom, I'll probably wake up when they do. We're going up to the city tomorrow to see Alcatraz, Fishermen's Wharf, etc., which should be fun. But for now, it's time for bed!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I had a great day at work today, even though it started at 7:30. I was also vaguely overheated the entire day - I had received knee-high boots from Zappos earlier this week and really wanted to wear them with this cute wool skirt, and so I wore the outfit even though it was nearly eighty degrees today. It's usually cool in the office, but I ended up having lunch outside with Subz and so wanted to die. But, it was totally worth it, and I love my boots, so it was all good. I came home tonight with the intention of working for several hours, but instead ended up doing laundry, cleaning out my rav4, cleaning my floors, and eating dinner. My parents are coming tomorrow, and I can't look like I live in complete squalor, so I tidied up. I guess this means I'll just have to get up tomorrow morning and work before I pick them up at the airport, but it's okay. Now, though, I'm going to go to bed and catch some much-needed sleep before the weekend starts. Goodnight!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I don't have much of substance to report tonight. I went to work, where I worked. I spent some lovely time with Heather (aka dear respected madam), my former manager/fellow expat in Hyderabad, which was v. nice - it was good to see her without having to go to the evil city (aka San Francisco) to do so. I also left work early and had dinner with Terry, which was good for my psyche even if it wasn't good for my productivity. I came home, worked a bit, read up on Scotland, and now I'm ready to go to bed. I have a meeting at 7:30am, which is just brutal, so I should really get some sleep.
Two future plans, though, before I go to bed:
1) I think I want to spend some time in Scotland in the next few months - I was reading up on the Highlands in my Great Britain guidebook, and there are some lovely places that I could get to by bus that are then so remote that bed and breakfasts are really cheap. I could finally follow through on my dream of going to Orkney! And in any case, some quality time in Scotland would be great research for my novel, and possibly tax deductible if I keep the receipts and publish the damn thing.
2) My parents arrive Thursday! I'm debating switching the order of activities and going to SF on Friday and wine country on Saturday instead, since driving up to Napa and back in rush hour doesn't sound fun, and we can get tickets for Alcatraz and do touristy things with fewer tourists in SF on Friday. But, this is all open for debate with the parents, who are going to be subjected to my tyranny for a couple of days. I can't wait!
That's all for now - goodnight!
All in all, life isn't really that bad - I'm just not particularly excited about most of it. But, I am excited to see my parents! I was chatting with Emily (one of the directors) today, and mentioned that they were coming out - and she asked if we could convince them to move out here so that I wouldn't be tempted to move back to Iowa. I just laughed - the idea of my parents moving to California is rather ridiculous to even contemplate. It was funny that she said that, though - clearly I talk about Iowa too much. Now, though, I should go to bed so that I can continue the slog tomorrow. Goodnight!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Anyway, Vidya is shamelessly using me for my couch - it's funny that I am more frequently used for my space in Palo Alto than I use people for their spaces in the city. Usually it's the other way around - most people my age on the Peninsula inevitably end up crashing in the city once in awhile. However, since I despise the place, I usually drive home after spending an evening up there - minimizing the time spent in the evil city is a good way to mitigate the risk of being stabbed.
My parents, however, should not worry - they're coming here on Thursday! And while I typically talk up the evilness of the city, it's really pretty safe, so they should ignore the previous paragraph.
This weekend was pretty low-key. I went up to the evil city on Friday night to have dinner with Jasmine and Michael; due to a combination of leaving late, encountering heavier-than-usual traffic, and circling for almost thirty minutes looking for parking, I was an hour and a half late to dinner. Luckily they were running behind, so they were just finishing the preparations when I arrived. Michael had made a delicious seafood soup (replete with scallops, one of my favorites), and so we ate and reminisced and generally had a lovely time. I also managed the five-block walk back to my car late at night without getting raped or stabbed, thus exceeding my expectations.
The rest of the weekend was spent either preparing for my parents' arrival (by doing some cleaning - which I inexplicably decided meant 'filing my papers' - so my file cabinet is more organized than it's been in a year, while my kitchen and bathroom still need scrubbed) or playing Civilization IV. Yes, I reinstalled Civilization, which was a horrible mistake - I install it every once in awhile, play long enough that I end up destroying my life and my sanity, and then promptly uninstall it again. It didn't destroy my whole weekend, and I still got things done, but it was perhaps regrettable.
Okay, I should really go to bed - the next three days are going to be a hard and brutal slog through my rapidly-exploding minefield of a to-do list before my parents arrive on Thursday. Wish me luck!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
After slogging, I had dinner with Terry, in which I had waaaay too many chips with my enchiladas. Then, I came home, recovered on the couch while watching some Tivo, and then worked/read email for the past couple of hours. I don't know how I get so much email - I get at least 100 messages a day, and I usually send ~20. Which I suppose explains how I get so much email, since I generate a lot. But if I don't check email every day, I quickly begin to drown. I've done a much better job of keeping it down than I have in the past - I reached the point earlier this summer where I had hundreds of unread, and somewhat important, messages just sitting, waiting until someone cared enough to resend it to me. Bleh.
I think I'm going to go write in my journal for awhile, and then go to bed so that I can get up and do it all again. I hope that you all have a lovely night! And to Adit, thanks so much for the heartfelt messages - you really are a light in a cold and heartless world. Goodnight!
However, I know Sean Connery better than Michael Caine does - Michael Caine claimed that Sean Connery was Mr. Scotland but didn't compete in the Mr. Universe pageant because he did 'South Pacific' instead. That's not true - Sean Connery place third in the Mr. Universe pageant. How sad is it that I remember that?
Okay, that's it - I will take my memories of Sean Connery and go to bed.
The title of my post tonight is also from an episode of Craig - or rather, from the song performed by 'They Might Be Giants' on an episode last week. They wrote a song called 'The Mesopotamians', imagining four ancient Mesopotamian kings as an invisible rock band. I haven't listened to a lot of their music, but anyone who makes a joke in a song about how someone's hair makes them look 'Mohenjo-Daren' is pretty frickin great.
Okay, I'm a dork, but you knew that.
Today was fine; I sat in completely useless meetings until almost noon, then had a nice rest of the day. Lauren (my former manager) was visiting from Boston from the day, and we managed to have lunch together, which was great. I ended up staying in the office until almost 10:30pm because I had a lot of stuff to catch up on, but I feel better about what I've gotten done as a result. Now, I should really go to bed - I have a meeting tomorrow morning at 8am, which is unfortunate, but my day after 11am looks pretty good. I hope that you are all similarly lucky! Goodnight!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Work was fine today, although unexciting; I had to be there at 8am for a conference call for a project that I'm no longer working on, and spent the rest of the day in meetings to make up for the fact that I stayed home sick yesterday and canceled those meetings. I spent some quality time with Laura this evening - we didn't end up making crafts, but we did discuss work and life while eating dinner from one of the cafes on campus, so that was nice. Then I came home, and while I should have done some work, I boycotted instead, surfed the net, and watched my tivo'd copy of last night's 'How I Met Your Mother.' Have I mentioned again how much I love my Tivo?
Adit is not staying with me tonight, which means I have the place to myself. It also means that I can periodically lift my shirt up and examine the weird swelling bumps on the lower left side of my back - it looks like I was bitten twenty times by a small spider or something. It doesn't really hurt hurt, it's just annoying, and it does hurt when it rubs up against something. Ugh. But it's not nearly as bad as the spider bite that my friend Jenni had in South Africa, which she popped in the bathroom one night at three a.m., shooting so much bloody pus on the mirror that it looked like she'd thrown strawberry yogurt at it with a spoon, and leaving a hole in her arm so large that she could have fit a jelly bean in the crater. Ew, right? And now that I have shared that lovely image with you, it's time for bed!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Speaking of friends, Adit is over again tonight - he has an early meeting tomorrow, and so didn't want to go back up to the city. So I suppose this technically qualifies as 'family time', since he distracted me from working on my romance novel while he ironed his shirt on my couch, made me IM w/Vidya about his plans for the weekend, and ate my cereal. It's nice to see him again though, despite all of that - he makes me laugh even when he's at his most obnoxious, so he's probably good practice for raising a toddler someday.
Today was okay; I had a headache and so stayed home from work, and so got to see the first episode of Drew Carey hosting 'The Price is Right' without even having to tivo it. It was one of those rare perfect episodes where everyone's a winner - I wonder if they threw it for his first 'Price is Right' episode? He was good, but it was strange not to see Bob Barker. I must say, though, that I'm glad they kept the yodeling dude - I love him.
I did some work in the afternoon after my headache had cleared up a bit, and then I worked on my romance novel for awhile. I managed to write 3000 words this evening - if I could maintain that pace, it would only take me twenty days to finish my novel. And those wouldn't be full days either - this was probably around 3-4hrs of work. Clearly I'm missing my calling in life.
Okay, thinking about how I'm missing my calling is making my head hurt - I think it's time for bed!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
On Friday evening, I went up to the evil city to see Vidya. She was dogsitting for her sister, who has adopted an extremely needy retired greyhound - an interesting houseguest to have in a highrise studio apartment. Then again, I am an interesting houseguest to have in a highrise studio apartment, but since I do not sniff my friends' asses, I believe that I am to be preferred. Unless you're in to that kind of thing, in which case Vidya's sister will likely need a sitter again someday, so you should call her. Anyway, Vidya and I went down the block to get some takeout Chinese - and it wasn't until after we had returned to the apartment (and I had eaten one of the eggrolls) that we discovered that we had been given the wrong order. So we trudged back to the Chinese place, greyhound in tow, to return the food and get our real order. Then we spent the rest of the evening talking, watching television, and shooing the dog away from our noodles.
After leaving Vidya's, I made a stop at Safeway and procured ingredients for Saturday brunch. Emily had called me earlier in the evening and we had agreed to have brunch on Saturday with our other friends who were in town for reunion weekend, but I decided that it would be nice if I made lunch so that we could hang out at my place as long as we liked without having to stand in line anywhere, be appropriately subdued (not that we pull that one off very often), or get ushered out if the place was busy. So I spent some quality time at one a.m. cooking some sausage for a breakfast casserole (thanks to Aunt B for the recipe, and to my mom for emailing it to me since I couldn't find my paper copy!). Adit came home from a night of partying around 2:30, so I didn't go to bed until after three.
Yesterday morning, I got up and made a blueberry cream cheese pound cake, and chopped potatoes, peppers and onions for some home fries (which didn't really fry up right - they were cooked and they were tasty, but they weren't crispy enough because I didn't use the right pan). The mixing and chopping probably weren't good for Adit's possible hangover (not that he admitted to having one), but he survived. We ended up having quite the crowd - Emily (in from New York), John, Jess, Oniel, Adit, Marina (in from Cyprus - I hadn't seen her in at least three years), Folkman (whom I hadn't seen in probably eighteen months), and Anthony (John's friend from high school). This meant nine people at breakfast, and I only have seven chairs, so two of us had to sit on my end tables. But, fun seemed to be had by all - I had a great time catching up with people, particularly when Folkman started recounting how his wife (Kristen, my freshman academic advisor), who is a small-animal vet, did this procedure on a cat without knowing how to do it, so she cut it open, took a picture with her cellphone, and texted it to the top vet in her practice. Isn't that great? The cat miraculously survived, and it sounds like Folkman and Kristen are happy, which is excellent. It was also good to see both Emily and Marina; I'd seen Emily at Zach's wedding but didn't talk to her much there, and Marina's a facebook friend, but we haven't really stayed in touch since she moved back to Europe after graduation.
So after brunch, all of those kids left to go to reunion activities (except Oniel - he's too cool for school, so went home to watch football). I spent the afternoon cleaning up my kitchen, finally putting up my bookshelf from when I reorganized my bedroom two months ago, and watched some tivo. This morning, I hung out with Adit and Katrina for awhile (Adit brought Katrina back with him because she didn't want to drive to the city, and he was v. apologetic about it - apparently when he asked if he could stay with me, I had said 'yes, as long as you don't bring any of your dirty friends with you' - I had forgotten that, and Katrina isn't dirty anyway, but it's amusing that he remembered). After they left, I went to Mike's for a leisurely late brunch, where I wrote in my journal for an hour or so. I spent the afternoon talking to my parents, cleaning my closet and watching Tivo. Isn't my life exciting?
I did a lot of brooding in my journal today, but I think that the time for brooding is done. I'm hoping that this week at work won't be too awful - I should have worked this weekend, but I'm boycotting it because I can't remember anything pressing that I absolutely had to do, and tomorrow will come soon enough. But I want to get out of work at a reasonable hour every night this week so that I can come home and work on my romance novel. Will that happen? I do not know. But you can wish me luck in my attempts!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Yesterday was good too; I had many meetings, and then I came home and ate Indian food with Terry while watching last week's episode of 'Moonlight' (the new vampire show on CBS). It's really quite terrible, and not even in a fun, schticky 'this is so bad it's good' way - this is just really bad. I'm going to give it another couple of episodes to find itself, but I'm horribly disappointed.
Today was not really a day that I wanted to be at work; while the preso went well and things are actually quite good at the office, I'm tired of how much work is consuming my life. I need to do something about it, even though I also feel the competing need to work this weekend on some stuff. However, the weekend should be good; Adit's staying with me, I'm going up to Vidya's to watch tv tomorrow night, and I may or may not see Emily and some of the other people who are around for Stanford's alumni homecoming this weekend. On that note, I think I shall go to bed and conserve my energy for the weekend. Goodnight!