Tuesday, October 30, 2007

you don't have to choose

I have a smashing headache all of a sudden, so I think I should go to bed. Maybe the headache is brought on by sheer disappointment that I didn't feel the earthquake tonight - there was a 5.6 earthquake northeast of San Jose, and I didn't feel a damn thing. There was a moment where I felt lightheaded, but I thought it was just because I was hungry. It probably was, too, since I don't know if that was exactly when it occurred. Lame!

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!

the world is not enough

I guess I haven't blogged in awhile - with my parents visiting, there isn't the pressure to ensure that they know that I'm alive, and they wore me out every day with all of our touring. We had a great time, though! Friday, we went to the city and toured Fishermen's Wharf and Alcatraz (which was v. cool - I'm glad I saw it after only eight years in California), and then did a driving tour of Chinatown, Financial District, the crookedest street (Lombard Street), etc. I took them to my favorite Mexican restaurant in Mountain View for dinner, which they both hated, so that made me sad. Saturday, we drove up to Sonoma, which was v. lovely - the weather was perfect, and we had fun doing the same Benziger tram tour that I did w/Ritu and Maneesh oh-so-long ago :( We also had some delicious champagne at Gloria Ferrer and stopped at a vista point to see the Golden Gate Bridge just before sunset. I redeemed myself with dinner at Left Bank, which was lucky - I'm glad I was forgiven for the Mexican debacle. Sunday, we had brunch at Marie Callendar's, picked up a new battery for my old car, and then watched my dad calculate a bid for a project using my absurdly-large, absurdly-pink Hello Kitty calculator (a gift from my Aunt Becky).

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

all i've torn, all i've run to the ground...broken down, come mend it all

My parents arrived today! I had meant to work late tonight, but it didn't happen; instead, I did some cleaning and went to bed around eleven. I woke up this morning and continued to boycott work, but my apartment looks v. nice - I even bought flowers (lovely orange-tipped yellow roses, green bells of Ireland, a sunset lily, and some gorgeous dark-red mums) to jazz up my living room.

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'll fight for every breath until there's nothing left of us

I'm glad to hear that Walter's parents and Tammy are both safe from zee fires, although it was amusing to note their different priorities in terms of things packed in case of emergency. It would have been even better if Alan was saving his Balenciaga collection, but Tammy's reference to the Loro dorm shirt was pretty winning.

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

and if i had my chance i would never let you go

Alan/Ellen (aka Walter's parents) and Tammy (aka tammmmmmeh)- are you and your families okay?

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!

i just want something...something for nothing

Today was a slogging kind of day...one of those days where half of the emails coming into my inbox filled me with a kind of sick dread without even opening them. Isn't that sad? But, I had lunch with a couple of fellow old-schoolers; we sat in the back of the cafe and groused about our lives like a bunch of jaded seniors. Given that my four-year anniversary is this coming Thursday, the analogy works pretty well. However, in both high school and college, my parents had to pay for my lunch, while this was free and significantly tastier - I had a nice premade turkey sandwich with provolone, roasted peppers, and olives, with a side of vegan black bean chili (surprisingly good - even for an Iowan like me who typically views vegan food with complete disdain). So, yes, I'm spoiled.

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

i pack my case, i check my face...i look a little bit older, i look a little bit colder

My good friend Vidius Chandicus is asleep on my loveseat. The couch is empty, but she refused to sleep on it - perhaps the smaller, more intimate loveseat reminds her of the comfort of the womb? She was also inexplicably loath to look at the mysterious bumps still plaguing my lower back - they're not quite as bad as they were earlier in the week, and the swelling has gone down, but they still hurt whenever they're touching something (which is, of course, whenever I sit or lie down in a normal lounging position).

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

i got the green light, i got a little fight, i'm gonna turn this thing around

Today, I slogged, of course. It was a decent day, though, and I figured out what I'm going to be for Halloween - Toucan Sam! It fits in with a group theme that my team at work is doing (dressing up for work is virtually mandatory). I ordered a pair of bird-feet slippers and yellow tights online; now, I just need to track down the rest of it. I think that I can make a beak out of some styrofoam cups glued together and painted, perhaps, although it won't have the same shape as a toucan beak - any ideas? I also need to find a cheap blue dress or something and some feathers. But, I'm quite excited to actually know with nearly two weeks to spare, unlike usual, so I should be able to put something together.

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!

sean connery!

Michael Caine said on Craig that the way he met Sean Connery was on the set of 'South Pacific' (which, as you former Loro residents will know, was Sean Connery's first break into acting). They saw each other at a party two days later, where Michael Caine claims that he had two girls and Sean had none, which is how they met.

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.

sargon, hammurabi, ashurbanipal, and gilgamesh

I still love Craig Ferguson. I'm watching Monday night's episode of his show, in which Michael Caine guest-starred - those of you who lived in Loro will of course remember him as one of Sean Connery's best friends. In his honor, Craig pre-taped a sketch in which he impersonated both Michael Caine and Sean Connery reenacting the orgasm-in-the-diner scene from 'When Harry Met Sally'. Instant classic!

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

o tannenbaum

For some reason, tonight I am really looking forward to Christmas. I really am just like a little kid - Christmas is still over two months away, but it's one of my favorite times of the year. What isn't there to love? Fun with the family, great food, decorations that bring back memories of times gone by, awesome presents...and the inevitability that something ridiculous will happen. You know how much I love ridiculous things, so any time when multiple people get together to celebrate something always brings the chance for a great memory.

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

wamp wamp - what it do, what it do

There's this rap song called 'Wamp Wamp (What It Do)', where 'wamp' is pronounced so that it rhymes with 'lamp'. Annoying! But my friends seem to love it, and expressed their love for me as well by playing it at brunch on Saturday. Isn't that nice of them?

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

tell me life is beautiful

I may have done too much of a hard sell last night, claiming that you would be treated to strange and wondrous tales if you returned tonight. However, I did have a nice weekend, even if it was neither strange nor wondrous.

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!


I know that I am overdue for a blog post, but I am too exhausted
tonight to bother. Loyal reader, please come back tomorrow, when I
shall update you on the many strange and wonderous things that
happened this weekend. Until then, goodnight!

Friday, October 12, 2007

into the ocean, end it all

I had a good day today, despite the fact that I was at work. I had to present to our all hands meeting, which involved standing up in front of several hundred people and making a presentation, but it went rather well. I was saddened, however, when I ate a lot of avocado on my turkey sandwich today and my lips and mouth started itching/burning; I've been in denial about the possibility that I have a reaction to avocadoes, but I suppose I need to go forward with my months-old goal of getting tested for all of my possible allergies. It just makes me sad, though, which is why I've been avoiding it. After the presentation, I spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on email, hanging out with my team, and generally celebrating the end of the presentation until my conference call at 7:30. Then I came home, boycotted work, and spent a couple of hours watching Tivo - I watched the first two episodes of 'Pushing Daisies' (good so far, about a guy who can bring people back to life, but with major strings attached), as well as an episode of '30 Rock'.

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!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

i wish i knew another way, but we're gonna have to clone you

Well, my friends, Iowa was fun. I got to see all sorts of family members, eat a lot of hearty Midwestern food (including ham, my favorite), and had the pleasure of topping it off with a seventy-mile drive through a thunderstorm at five a.m. to get back to the airport on Monday. Consequently, I was exhausted last night and missed Adit's birthday party, since I was afraid I would fall asleep while driving to/from the city. Instead, I stayed home, watched a bit of tivo, and slept for over ten hours. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Today, I had meetings most of the day, but I stayed at work for dinner and had some delicious steak and mashed potatoes while reading my email, so that was lovely. Then I came home, watched some tivo while doing some more work, and now I'm going to bed.

Based on this pattern, any six-year-old could guess what I'm going to do tomorrow! However, there's a slight variation to the theme - Terry's going to come over and we're going to watch Tivo together (namely, last week's episode of 'Moonlight', that ridiculous vampire show on CBS). Yes, I know, I have terrible taste.

That's all for now - I leave you with a link to my photo album for some of the pics I took while in Iowa: http://picasaweb.google.com/sarawampler/IowaRiggsReunion. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

roland the headless thompson gunner

My parents know that I'm alive, which has limited the incentive to blog this weekend - but I thought that you, my small but loyal cadre of readers, might care to verify as well. The post that I wrote on Friday was mostly fictitious - I was actually sitting in the San Francisco airport, waiting to catch a flight back to my native land. My maternal grandmother's four sisters were having a reunion of sorts in my hometown, and I decided to go back and surprise everybody. My brother was in on the secret, by my parents were quite surprised when I strolled into the kitchen around noon yesterday, after arriving in Des Moines and renting a car for the seventy-mile drive south.

It was really good to see everybody; the aunts are all in their eighties, and it's unlikely that all four of them will get together again, so I'm glad I came home. It was also nice to sleep in my room and not spend any time at all sorting or throwing away remnants of my childhood. And, in other news, Minnesota is producing some drinkable wine, as evidenced by the bottle of red wine that one of my mother's cousins brought. So, all in all, it was great, although I have to get up at four a.m. to shower, say goodbye, and drive to the airport to catch my flight back to California. As soon as I get there, I have meetings all afternoon, and then I have to drive back to the evil city for dinner for Adit's birthday. Boo. So I suppose I should go to bed - I'll write again tomorrow!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

my crazy angel

I'm so stupid - I really should have gone to bed, but I adore my Tivo, and so I watched all sorts of crap. Granted, it was sans commercials, so it was a more efficient watching of crap than usual. My favorite thing is that I've been tivo'ing various episodes of 'Man vs. Wild' - that guy is insane. He was formerly the British equivalent of a Navy SEAL, and now he does this show for the Discovery Channel in which he thrusts himself into various completely ridiculous wilderness survival experiences. I had the privilege of watching him fill a water bottle with his own urine to use it as a hot water bottle when he was freezing; I also got to watch a rather visceral skinning of a deer that he found dead in the Scottish Highlands. He wrapped himself in the skin directly after skinning it, which seemed to be pretty foul, but I guess that's why he would survive and I would just curl up in a ball and wait for death.

However, I did do various productive things tonight, such as laundry, which means I won't do it later this weekend. That's a good thing - I have tons of work to do, and I have no real faith in my ability to get it all done. That's particularly true since I haven't slept much this week, so I should really sleep now and attempt to regain my stamina. Goodnight!

Friday, October 05, 2007

tomorrow's just a future yesterday

Well, today was miserable. I spent six hours staring at excel spreadsheets, trying to match up various versions of fifteen different spreadsheets into one amalgamated thing with multiple charts and graphs, which made my head hurt. Then I had meetings the rest of the day. But, I had dinner w/my friend Joann, who is a fellow old-schooler (we started within three weeks of each other), and that was fun. Afterwards, I came home and worked from 9pm until now, while watching various tivo'd things in the background. Now, I have to go to bed - sorry that this is one of the lamest posts ever :(

But, that frowny-face reminds me of how I completely lost it by the end of the day. I was sitting in a working meeting and showing a couple of people how you can use formulas in excel to show whether someone is meeting their goal, and I wrote a quick and easy formula that changed a cell to 'yay!' or 'boo :(' depending on the goal. Then we all laughed uproariously, no doubt because we were all insane. Anyway, on that note, it's time for bed!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

secret secret, i've got a secret

I'm Kilroy!

No, that's not true. It is a reference to Styx's epic song 'Mr. Roboto'. I went through a serious Styx-loving phase in high school; while I have since moved on to other things, the vocoder and electronica influences in 'Mr. Roboto' are enough to keep me enthused about it despite (or perhaps because of) its ridiculously campy lyrics and sound.

Today was a pretty good day - I had several 'important' meetings (where importance is measured by the relative seniority of the other people in the meetings, not the topics of discussion), and so I fought the corporateness of my life by wearing pigtails. Laura and Alan complimented my 'sassiness' when we chatted for a few minutes at lunchtime; for those of you not in the know, Alan and Laura are both directors and Alan is my manager, but they are both pretty cool. I'm clearly spoiled - I can't work anywhere else in corporate America, given my tastes in colors and hair styles.

I also had an 'ohmigosh i'm so spoiled' moment tonight when I went to the fridge at work to get a drink and I had a vague sense of regret that they've reformed the snack rooms - while we still get ridiculous quantities of free stuff, including high-end beverages like Smartwater, various teas and vitaminwaters, etc., I was sad when I remembered that I can no longer get the apple-shaped single-serving bottles of Martinelli's apple juice. At least I recognize that I'm spoiled, right?

After work, I came home and made myself some danged quesadillas, which were delicious. I also watched last night's episode of Craig Ferguson. Seriously, Tivo has completely changed my life - I should have gotten it a year ago. Craig's monologue last night was really funny - he spent a lot of time going off about cavemen, and made a ridiculously crude/funny joke about the Lascaux cave paintings in France. Which reminds me - in Monday night's episode, he made some comment about how Budapest is really two separate cities (Buda and Pest) separated by a river (which is true) - but he said it to Juliette Lewis, who thought he was teasing her. I think I love him because he clearly knows a lot of random stuff - that and he has a gorgeous accent and an amazing sense of comedic timing. I also love that when he does flashbacks of himself, even if the 'flashback' is to earlier in the day, he puts on a darker wig. He's so strange!

Okay, I should really go to bed - I have tons to accomplish tomorrow. Goodnight!

set an open course for the virgin sea

Sorry that I didn't blog yesterday - this week is shaping up to be truly brutal. I had hoped to go to the evil city to see 'Into the Wild' with Vidius Chandicus (the originator of the daily gratuitous instant message, which I have received both yesterday and today), but I had to work late and go into the office v. early this morning. Today, I worked all day, and then had dinner at Miyake with my friend Kim. She is leaving for India next week on a three-month business trip, and so I let her pick the restaurant - and it was quite amusing. I hadn't been there in years, but even on a Tuesday night, they're still pouring sake bombs for anyone who wants them. Their sake bombs are accompanied by flashing colored lights and overly-loud rap music, although the fog machine was not in use tonight as it was several years ago. Anyway, it was good to see Kim, even though I came home and worked from 9-12.

However, due to the wonders of Tivo, I'm going to go to bed rather than staying up and watching 'Craig Ferguson'. I also watched 'Boston Legal' in the background of my work, but got to skip the commercials. I'm really loving this thing - it's clear that I should have gotten it ages ago. Everyone I mention my Tivo to at work exclaims that it will revolutionize my life, and they ain't kiddin'.

Now, though, I should go to bed - I have meetings almost straight through tomorrow, and I have 144 emails piled up in my inbox that I have no hope of getting through anytime soon. Bleh. For now though, it's time to sleep!

Monday, October 01, 2007

every rose has its thorn

Apologies for not blogging yesterday - as usual, I did nothing on Saturday night and yet didn't have the energy necessary to write. I had written in my journal, which obviated the need for expressing my thoughts online. Yesterday was good, though. I went to Sunnyvale to see part of Roopa's classical Indian singing performance. It was v. good, although since I don't understand the words, I didn't get as much out of it as some audience members probably did. However, it did make me homesick for Hyderabad. Or, perhaps as Vidya pointed out, I'm just 'homesick' for travel in general - I haven't gone anywhere interesting since I went to Ukraine in May, and while trips to Salt Lake, Tahoe, and Iowa were fun, they weren't really classic adventures. I think I'm just feeling a dearth of adventure in my life, which is something that I want to rectify sooner rather than later.

After the concert, I had a late lunch with Vidya and Adit, took a nap, and spent the rest of the evening watching TV. I watched 'Moonlight' (the awful vampire show on CBS which I will of course keeping watching, because I have a secret affection for vampires), and 'Chuck' (surprisingly pretty good - it's on NBC, about a dorky guy who gets all of the government's secrets downloaded into his brain), and well as the season premiere of 'The Office'. All in all, the perfect slightly-depressing but still relaxing Saturday night.

Today, I slept in, took a shower, played with my makeup, and went through my usual Sunday ritual of reading every interesting story on the New York Times website. I talked to my mom for awhile, and then met Vidya at Cafe Borrone. We had intended to work, but of course we talked for two hours instead. It was really nice - I was feeling rather depressed this weekend that I'm losing touch w/my friends (for example, Claude, whom I've only talked to a couple of times in the last month, even though we used to see each other at least twice a week), but seeing Vidya was a welcome respite from my standard crazy go-go-go work life.

After hanging out with Vidya, I went to Best Buy and bought a TiVo. I had avoided it for years, but I finally bit the bullet - I would watch television to relax at night if there were things on that I wanted to see at precisely the time that I wanted to watch. The first thing I did was set up a Season Pass (recurring recording) of 'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson' - so I will never miss Craig again, and I won't have to force myself to stay up in order to see him! Yay!

So that's all for now - this week at work is going to be brutal, but I might as well stop saying that, because they all are. Now I'm going to finish watching the finale of 'Rock of Love' - ridiculous, since I'd never watched it until now, but I kind of love it. Goodnight!