I’ve been MIA from the blogging world for a while. Sorry to all my faithful readers (if any of you still exist). I decided to move over to Blogspot. Here’s my new blog:
See you on there, and thanks for following me!
It is warfare in my womb and the baby lost. More like we lost the baby. Two miscarriages in less than a 4-month period means it’s time to let my body heal. Let go, move on. D and I have too much to look forward to, to be dwelling on the loss.
We finally set a wedding date, or maybe calling it a wedding plan is more appropriate. More announcements to come in the following months!
D and I are traveling to the Philippines, China and possibly Japan next year to visit our new families. We are also planning a long overdue trip to Hawaii. 2012 is going to be a pan-Pacific year. Let’s hope that Ring of Fire (home of the world’s 75% volcanoes) remains, for the most part, dormant…
D is graduating from Cal and I have academic goals of my own that I am working toward. This is probably the most exciting out of the three for me. Yeah, I know I’m a nerd.
The whole baby thing just wasn’t meant to be and we’ve accepted the fact that we won’t be starting a family for a few years. For now we continue to work on just us. We’re focusing on our relationship with each other, our relationships with our family and friends, our relationships to The Universe. And I’m perfectly happy with that.
The cat’s out of the bag: D and I are pregnant!
Most reactions have been very positive, as expected. It helps that everyone is happy and excited for us, because honestly, D and I are terrified. Every call, text, FB message we’ve received is so greatly appreciated. Saying we are thankful for everyone’s love and support is the biggest understatement ever.
Not everyone has been quick to give their blessings. And that’s okay, I totally get it. They’re just concerned for mine and D’s well-being, and I appreciate them for that.
Here are the two most FAQ I’ve found myself fielding from the skeptics:
Q: Did you and D plan this?
A: No this wasn’t planned, but we welcome it. I was convinced for years that I couldn’t ever bear children. So, yes, this is unexpected but that doesn’t mean we want it any less.
Q: Do you plan on getting married?
A: Yes. D and I have been engaged since April; of course we’re getting married. As far as the date goes, D wants to tie the knot before the baby comes and I would rather wait until the end of 2012 or early 2013 like we originally planned. He’s more traditional, while I am more concerned about how I look on my wedding day— even if it is just a small ceremony. Either way, we’re both really vain about it. But not stubborn. We could both go either route. Our marital status isn’t gonna affect the fact that the baby will be loved by two parents who are crazy about each other.
Big changes have happened in the past two months.
I’m no longer traveling every week for work, which took some getting used to. I hadn’t stayed home for more than a weekend without getting called into work in a different state for months, so not having a suitcase packed and ready for me to roll out the door at any given moment made me very, VERY anxious.
The reason why I stopped traveling was because my former employer laid me off. I was extremely embarrassed (still am), even though I know that very competent and qualified people get laid off all the time. It helps that two of my direct boss men were angered and fought to have me stay on board, and even tried to negotiate with the client to get them to hire me. At the end of the day, however, I chose not to stay with my team because moving to Colorado is not an option for me—even for more than twice the pay I got at Dell.
I chose not to write the past two months because I wanted to break away from the virtual world for a bit and reflect more privately. I’m also trying to figure out what direction I want this blog to go to. Should I pick a theme or focus? What side(s) of me do I want to show to other netizens? Is tumblr the best host for my blog? Am I thinking too much about this? Probably. I just don’t want my identity to be tied to bored suburban wives who talk mainly about petty things like knitting, makeup hauls and yoga.
Nineteen years ago I touched my mother’s belly and wished for a baby sister, even though everyone was convinced you were a boy. Our telepathic connection worked even back when you were in the womb. You listened to your até, came out a girl and we have been reading each other’s minds ever since. We may have butted heads and even gotten into some serious battles—no, I mean straight up WARFARE in the G household—but the truth remains: You’re the closest thing I’ll ever have to a twin, and my Ultimate Best Friend For Life. I love you!
Happy Birthday, Paola!!
(P.S. Sorry for the bad picture quality. I dug this up from my super old PhotoBucket and will upload a better one when I get a chance.)
By the end of each work week I am usually tired and incredibly homesick. Yeah, living in a full-service hotel and expensing all my meals is nice, but nothing beats coming home to family and friends. That is why by Thursday I’m in high spirits because I know I get to fly back to the Bay. Nothing in the world can keep my excitement down from blowing through the roof with guns smoke and lots confetti.
Well, almost nothing.
Recently on a flight back home the man sitting next to me on the plane struck up a conversation with me. He asked me about the book I was reading at the time (Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy), and we got into a great conversation about philosophers of the past. It was nice. This guy seemed pretty harmless as he sipped on his end-of-the-week whiskey. He even gave me some great book suggestions.
By his second whiskey, he started asking more about me. The usual small talk with an older man ensued. This is how it goes:
What’s your name? Maxine (totally NOT my name).
Where are you from, Maxine? California.
No, I mean where are you FROM? What is your nationality? I’m FROM California, born and raised, so I’m American… My parents are from the Philippines, if that’s what you’re asking.
At this, men usually say in a dreamy voice, “Ohh, I once knew a Filipina….” Sometimes they’ll even go further to say, “She broke my heart” or “What a firecracker, she was!” I’ll joke and say, “Yeah, us Filipinas are somethin’ else!”, but inside my head it’s, “Ew. Get away from me. I’m not going to redeem your broken heart and you’ll never know the fiery side to me!” Sigh… Old men. Most of them are pervs who haven’t gotten laid by their wives in years because they are such sickos.
Anyway, by the time this old man was at his third glass things got REALLY interesting. He started interrogating me about my love life. I told him I was happily engaged to a tall, dark handsome buff man who would beat up any guy who tried to get at me. To anybody else, this means back off she’s taken and her man will fuck you up. But no. He pressed on, asking more about my love life and inching toward me until finally, he asked what I’m sure he wanted to know all night long. In his slurry and heavily accented speech, the old man asked:
Are you a virgin? If not, have you had sex with your fiance?
Whoa! Did a total stranger just ask me that?? SECURITY!!!
It didn’t end pretty.
When I told D about the man, his eyes darted around the terminal asking what he looks like so he could get all gangsta on him and beat his disrespectful ass up. Lucky for the old man, he was no where in sight. As for me, I’ve made sure to avoid talking to strange old men who’ve had more than 2 drinks. I should have seen this coming. Dammit, I’m too nice sometimes…
Resting my head on my mom’s shoulders and hands on my once-pregnant belly during a slow song at a rock concert held between two huge boulders.
Sour cream and poppy seed ice cream at an old-fashioned candy shoppe in a quaint little historic mining town.
The rare genuineness of an ER doctor who isn’t jaded by however many miscarriages she’s seen.
FaceTime with my sister and nephew while I am grieving 1,300 miles away.
A care package delivered by my boss.
Surprise visit from D and home-cooked meals in an otherwise empty hotel room.
D holding my hand during a very uncomfortable and heartbreaking Ob-Gyn visit.
Long car rides winding through the mountains.
Support calls from (former and existing) co-workers who step in as family while I am miles away from my own.
Laughing all through the night over poop jokes with my best friend of 16 years. Yes, we are (turning) 25 this year.
Flying over the Bay Area in anticipation of landing.
My darling nephew cooing and grunting at me like I know what he’s saying.
Morning runs by the lake at sunrise.
You wouldn’t have guessed it but the past month hasn’t been all that kind to me. I have been able to avoid a nervous breakdown due to all of the above. Thank you to my mom, sister, Teddy Bear, eLT, my team at work, KElwood, Kim and Tara for all your love and support. My positivity and strength to keep on stem from you.
And most especially, my wonderful hub-to-be, D. We gonna take over the world someday. Be ready and on your game. Aw, shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiet.
For D’s birthday I had the awesome idea of taking a square of his favorite key-lime Ciaobella gelato ice cream sandwich and sticking it with 28 candles. You know, the long skinny ones that sparkle an annoy you because no matter how many times you blow ‘em out they reignite and you end up with not just birthday cake, but ash and wax and spit too! Yum!
My strategy for lighting all these candles was to use an extra one and light them from the inside out. By the fifth candle, the one I was using got as limp and disappointing as an investment banker on coke who’s stocks just crashed. It wasn’t looking as pretty as I imagined it in my head. After lighting all the candles, half of them were already just stubs. The rest of them started leaning into one another causing some of the flames to join into one huge one.
This was a fire hazard, foshizzle. But, by God, NOTHING was gonna get in the way between singing happy birthday to my man whilst presenting him with a cute ass cake. Nothing.
So I shut off all the lights. Carried the cake to D and started singing.
“Happy birthday to youuu! Happy birthday to youu! Happy biirthd—Oh, God, the flames are getting bigger, MAKE A WISH AND BLOW THAT SHIT OUT!!!!”
I am so classy.
I really wanted to get a shot of D blowing out his birthday candles. No, actually I really wanted to get a picture of my adorbs birthday cake idea, but we were both frantically trying to blow out those goddamn tricky candles from fear we’d set off the fire alarm/sprinklers on the entire floor of the hotel. Man! I wish I caught that, too. Oh well.
I guess this picture of burnt out candles, graham cracker crumbs and splattered wax will do until next year.
Happy birthday, honey!
The other day a friend of mine called me out of the blue.
C: Hey, I’m at the grocery store and I wanted to get your opinion on what kind of olives would go with my pasta dish?
Me: Well, hello to you, too!
C: Haha, sorry! I’ve just never cooked with olives before and I want to know which goes best with a red sauce.
Me: What type of olives do you usually eat?
C: Umm… black olives on my pizza?
Me: Hmm. If you want to add a little kick to your pasta sauce, go with Kalamata olives. The green ones won’t go too well. They’re a little salty and sour.
C: Okay, thanks! Should I get them pitted? What does that mean?
Me: Do you want to cut the seeds out of them?
C: Olives have seeds?
Me: Get the pitted ones.
A few weeks ago, my BFFAE and I were cooking dinner together. She had brought a copy of The Flavor Bible, which sparked a discussion about how the Chinese use cinnamon in savory dishes as opposed to sweet desserts like Americans do. I suggested we add the slightest dash of cinnamon in our meat sauce. So we did. The cinnamon completely changed the flavor of the sauce in the best way possible. It came out pretty amazing. A few days later, BFFAE called me up to tell me that I had ignited a cinnamon obsession within her. Neat.
People have been coming to me lately with their culinary quandaries, hoping I’d point them in the right direction when it comes to ingredients or restaurant choices. It’s really strange. I don’t consider myself a foodie by any means. I just enjoy food. Lots of it. It’s also kinda cool. I’m always flattered when someone respects my opinion on something as important as good food, and I’m always happy to oblige.
I wasn’t always interested in food. In fact, I used to be afraid of it. Most of my college years were spent dodging calories and sticking to a strict fitness regimen to fit into my size double 0s. That is, until I found ribeye steaks, toro (fatty tuna), real beer, real cheese, real wine… real food. My life has changed. For the better, I think. I enjoy it a hell of a lot better. Most importantly, my friends enjoy my company more. I remember how uncomfortable they felt eating around me when I had my typical salad whilst preaching about how fried foods are the devil. God, I was such a bitch. I would’ve hated me.
Anyway, I encourage everyone who reads this blog to try a new food. Experiment a little. Be adventurous. Indulge yourself (but know your limits). It just might change your life for good.
Oh, and feel free to ask me anything!
Lately my blog posts have been very criticism-heavy (read: full of complaints). While I like to think myself a very discerning person, I am very capable to use it toward calling out the good as well as the not-so-good. So let me take the time to ensure you, my faithful readers, that my life is not driven by misery and disgust.
Even though I am homesick, living in the Denver for the next umpteen months is kinda exciting! I’m renting a fully-furnished luxury suite at this really awesome hotel with great amenities—state-of-the-art gym, salt water pool, complimentary breakfast 7 days a week, happy hour M-Th, and I don’t even have to make my bed everyday. Um, awesome!
I’ve convinced people to come and visit me on some weekends I’m here, so I’ll be exploring Colorado’s beauty. I predict I’ll fall in love with this state if I haven’t already. This weekend’s agenda: John Butler Trio at the Red Rock Amphitheater, vin et hors d’oeurves on an historic train ride up the Colorado mountains, Denver zoo, Denver museum (I heard great things!) and the downtown botanical garden.
Upcoming trips within the next 2 months: New Jersey (and possibly NYC/Manhattan) and Tennessee! We’ll be conducting project management workshops to help get our customer’s health care IT projects underway and through to implementation. I am hoping that I’d be able to pay visits to their hospitals/clinics as well. Obviously, I am so excited since I’ve never been to either state. My super awesome manager and I have already spotted a few restaurants and local dishes we want to try. We are fatties like that.
Soo, all that to say: I hope you don’t think I’m a negative person. I deal with adversity quite well, actually. Even more, I hope you don’t pity me. That would be awful.
In my previous post I said that waiting in line at airport security is the worst part of my week. I take that back. The worst part of the week is Sunday night when I have to excuse myself from dinner early so I can pack up and get to bed early so I can catch my 6am flight to work.
This Sunday is no exception, and it’s worse because I’ll be gone for 3 weeks so I’ll miss D’s birthday. He tells me it’s not a big deal because he’ll be busy with the MCAT anyway. I tried convincing him to let me buy him a ticket after his test is over, but he’d rather I save my money for a bigger trip we are planning for December.
I’m also sad I won’t see my nephew until his christening. He changes so much when I’m gone for only a week, he’s gonna be so different when I come back in three.
Sigh. I know it’s not the end of the world and it isn’t even THAT long.
I should be looking forward to this instead of dreading it. I’ll be spending the weekends exploring Colorado’s beauty with my mom and BFFAE (on separate weekends). I’ll most likely get out into the social scene and make friends with the locals.
I probably just don’t want to work while I’m there. The excitement of a new job has worn off and I’ve come to realize that I’m not being challenged nearly enough. I find myself bored most of the time, asking for things to do. D tells me I should stop because I might tick off my manager and make them look bad. He has a point, but I can’t stand being idle at work. I need to feel like I’m doing something important. Managing budgets was important. Reminding people of what they already should know isn’t that important to me. Sorry.
I’ve been really bitchy lately, haven’t I? Oh well, I guess that’s what this blog is for…
Can somebody please send positive energy my way? I need it to get through the next three weeks.
The worst part of every week for me is the day I have to fly out to work and go through security. Here are some dos and don’ts for getting through security:
1) Don’t wear lots of jewelry. We’re going for efficiency here, not a fashion statement. Even if you do look nice with your drop earrings and half a dozen necklaces and bangles all the way up to your elbow, holding up security lines so you can take off your little trinkets is not classy at all.
2) Don’t wear any kind of footwear that is difficult to take off/put on. I have seen grown people actually sit on the ground in line to take off their shoes. This holds up the line, obviously. If your shoes can’t easily slip on and off you’re feet
3) Don’t bring your pillow. Why, people? It’s just another thing to carry and ties up your hands while you’re trying to get shit out of your bags and through the x-ray. Also, do you know how many germs your pillow is picking up when you set it down on any kind of surface at the airport? And you sleep with all those germs feasting on your face? Ew. You’re gross.
4) Read up on what you can and cannot bring through security beforehand. If you don’t, read the damn sign. At the start of every security line there is a sign that tells you what you can and cannot bring with you on the plane. Please make sure that you get rid of items that don’t comply and please don’t try to argue with security that this item is acceptable. They’re not here for customer service.
5) While traveling with kids, it’s okay to let them be a little rambunctious while standing in line. They’re just bored and trying to entertain themselves. You don’t have to scream and yell at them whenever they step 2ft away from you. It usually doesn’t work, if you haven’t noticed by now. Here’s another tip: If your child is old enough to know how to pick up after their toys, they can probably help get their own stuff through security if you just show them how. Kids like being involved and if you delegate tasks to them, they’re usually happy to do it as long as they still trust you (that’s why you shouldn’t scream at them for no apparent reason) and feel like they are contributing. Trust me, I have experience in taking a group of children to crowded, public places.
6) Stay off your cell phone while you’re putting your shit through. I mean, really? Is it THAT important? Probably not.
7) Don’t ask to cut in line, then complain out loud to everyone behind you and call 3 people just to bitch about it when you get a firm “NO”. No one cares.
8) If there is a person in front of you who is taking a while to get their shit out and the line is moving, it’s okay to push their stuff along the line. They’ll probably thank you.
9) Pack as lightly as possible. Less stuff means less time to go through security. I’m pretty sure you don’t need an entire trunk for 1 week, let alone 1 weekend. If you’re that fancy, why didn’t you just take a private jet to your destination?
10) Have your boarding pass and ID ready for security. You will piss everyone off if you stand there fumbling through your bag looking for something you know you should’ve already had out.
Ugh, I am already dreading this weekend’s flight out to Denver…
Tonight I am finally putting down Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I usually read every book I pick up cover-to-cover even if it isn’t any good. I can deal with a sucky plot, annoying characters, bad storytelling or even the overuse of different fonts and font sizes. I like finishing what I start. But after 3 weeks of forcing my way through a 250-page book that would usually only take me an hour and thirty to read, I feel no remorse putting down this book.
Why? Because this book disgusts me. No, it isn’t because Foer talks about cruelty and torture against the animals we eat. It isn’t that he describes the inhumane and unsanitary slaughtering of pigs. It isn’t the crazy statements he makes (At one point Foer claims that feeding a farm animal nowadays equates to feeding a child to obesity by granola bars alone. I actually believe him on this one). What I DESPISE Foer for is that he passes scathing judgment against the non-factory farmers who try to pave the way for building a market for ethically farmed animals. He pretty much lets the farmer write 2-4 pages on why they believe ethical farming is the direction America should be going toward, then in the next 1.5 pages he criticizes their person instead of their educated reasoning. For example, Foer implies that an ethical butcher (meaning he stunguns instead of tortures an animal before killing) must not have a heart because he pronounces shih tzu like “SHIT su”, or that the co-owner of Niman Ranch is a hypocrite because she chooses not to eat the cattle she helps raise, or that Smithfield’s former CEO is a crook simply because his last name is pronounced “looter”. Come on, now. Give me a real reason why eating meat from a respectable ranch is wrong. Oh, you can’t because you’re a sanctimonious prick who is an even bigger hypocrite than Niman Ranch’s co-owner because you claim to be a vegetarian but you absolutely loove bacon?
I can’t believe this book made any kind of best seller list… but then again, Angels & Demons did too, and that was one of the worst books I’ve ever read. I’m even more disappointed that Natalie Portman claims this book changed her life (Come on, Nat, you’ve much better taste than that, surely).
If it isn’t obvious by now, I do not recommend Foer or any of his works for that matter. There are plenty of books like Eating Animals that are of of the same genre and provide much more educated view into the world of factory farming vs. ethical farming. I hear Michal Pollan is good. I’ll stop by the bookstore and see if there are any more copies of his books.
In the meantime, I picked up Irving Stone’s The Agony and Ecstasy. I recently read Lust for Life, and I was so touched by the way Stone told Van Gogh’s story I even cried. And I don’t cry (publicly). Changed my life and turned me into a post-impressionist fan.
Anywho, it’s time for bedtime reading. Woohoo, can’t wait!
What book are YOU currently reading?
The company I consult for is considered a large faith-based health care organization, which is really just a euphemism to express that they are some form of Christian (Come on, do you really think large Muslim, Hindu or even Santaria-based hospital organizations in America would be as profitable?) In this case, they are Catholic.
Last time I was part of a Catholic organization was in middle school, where girls competed over who could hike their skirts up the highest without getting sent to the pedophilic principal, and boys were incredibly awkward (going through puberty and all), spending their leisure time playing CYO basketball and/or serving as altar boys on the weekend. It isn’t a time I look back on with fond memories. Catholic school did, however, teach me how to behave as a lady when, in reality, I’m just as wild and crazy as the next deviant.
This company is no different. The women here frequently break dress code and the men are not so much awkward as they are priest-like. Admittedly, I feel a strange sense of cultural connection. I totally get their culture. It’s like the Catholic schoolgirl in me never left. Or maybe it’s just the tainted glass windows, crosses, and pictures of saints everywhere.
Company culture is something us consultants have to always be mindful of whenever client-facing, meaning try to fit in as much as possible and don’t stick out like a sore thumb. For this client, that means no use of any “violent words”; i.e. DOT points instead of BULLET points, DASHING T’s instead of CROSSING T’s, COACHING OPPORTUNITIES instead of EVALUATIONS, etc. Weird. But, okay, I get it. Ephesians 4:29. Thank you, years and years of Bible study!
The most difficult restriction my consulting team has had so far is dealing with Catholic guilt that obviously perpetuates through the halls. A couple of months ago, KPMG performed an audit and found a bunch of things wrong with their PLC. Faith-based org subsequently hired my team to help fix the problems. I get the sense that, while they fully intend on correcting their mistakes, there hasn’t yet been a full commitment to changing the way they run things. It’s like they just came out of confession with a priest (KPMG), and expect to only say a few Hail Mary’s as “punishment for their sins” when they really need to “repent” by fully accepting the Lord as their Savior (my company).* Hah!
I’d be really interested to see how this engagement pans out.
*Before all you religious fanatics accuse me of taking the Lord’s name in vain, I’m sorry, all right? Don’t get offended.
P.S. As stated in the disclaimer to the right, ALL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION HAS BEEN CHANGED TO PROTECT MY CLIENT AND COMPANY.
Okay, maybe not my stylist, but a particular skin consultant at Kiehl’s.
I’m a huge fan of Kiehl’s. I trust their brand, and I trust the people who work there. D and I are regulars at the San Jose store, so whenever we come in to stock up they always recognize us. Unless, of course, they’re new.
Earlier today, while we were getting our haul rung up by a new Kiehl’s guy who obviously had the hots for D, he stopped mid-transaction to ask if we were brother and sister. D wrapped his arm around me and answered, “No, she’s my fiancee.”
To this, the new guy looked me up and down with a curled upper lip, then quickly lit up and exclaimed, “OMG, you’re SO lucky!!”.
You’re damn right I’m lucky. Now, stop looking, ho!
Just kidding. I didn’t say or even think that. What I thought was how I need to avoid this guy from now on for fear that he might sabotage me and my skin. Vain and a little paranoid? I don’t care. My skin may be problematic, but it’s my life!